Happy New Year, actors & Workroom friends! I want to take this occasion to thank all of you whom I coached or taught last year for coming into my creative space and for the privilege of being invited into yours.
I hoped to post this at the end of last year. But I hit the ground running at the start 2014, directing a reading of Play the Queen on January 12th at the new Annenberg Center for The Performing Arts, starring Kate Burton & written by Rosalind Miles based on her best selling novel, I, Elizabeth. Then, immediately after (right now!) I started prepping for Love Noel, a cabaret based on Coward's songs & letters, opening on Valentine’s day, also at the Annenberg Center. Slammed, in a very good way.
But my still center & constant touchstone remains my ongoing work with actors — coaching one-on-one in my studio & the various classes I teach in The Workroom, at the Sag Conservatory & other places in LA; at Williamstown & other colleges & universities across the country. This is the daily practice that feeds everything else I do.
It still amazes me how much I love my job. Okay, sometimes the material we get feels like slogging thru the mud, but the WORK itself remains the same no matter how good or bad the writing is — can we find the "hook," can we use the material to express something that's burning to come out, or to have fun, or to stretch our talent in some way? Can we use the audition to get back to the initial impulse of why we're doing this acting thing? So much of it, I think, is keeping the flame of that initial impulse alive, that thing that made us want to act in the first place. Even though that original impulse may also contain secret passageways to psuedo-rewards: attention, approval, acknowledgment, scoring in sibling rivalry, winning the lottery, etc. etc. you name it!— no matter.