Where to start? My brain rebels against memorizing lines. I feel like I can’t find a clue in the text as to who I’m supposed to be. In the most congenial of rooms with a bunch of smart & talented people I feel like I don’t understand at all how to mutually collude to tell a story – that is, to tell the same story.
THE WORKROOM = my space for
all things acting + creative process + theater art
I AM = an actor, director, author, teacher, artistic director
THE GOAL = to live in our full potential as artists
I do not seek, I find. PICASSO
find: starting / finishing / exhilaration / collaboration / focus /
committment / just playing around.
Hey you – struggling actor. Yes, you. Come with me for a moment. I want to take you on a little journey.
Imagine for a moment that you have achieved your dreams. You did a terrific role in an important film, say, in the past year. Your work was noticed by the press & your peers. In fact, you were nominated for -- no, you won! -- an Oscar or an Emmy or a Tony -- whatever turns you on most.
The picture of my ideal life at about 18 = something like: 8am Swimming / 9am Strawberries & oatmeal / 10am French class / 11am Voice work / 12noon Massage / 1pm Stuffed artichokes & rare steak / 2pm Acting class / 5pm Nap / 6pm Bathe / 7:30 Champagne / 8pm - well, you get the idea: learning, luxury, poetry & discipline. (really, does anything sound sexier?)
To that end, here's what's jazzing me for 2013.
I meet very few actors for whom auditioning is "vanilla" -- i.e. the same thing every time, no big deal, walk in, read, walk out, slam-bam-thank-you-m'am.
Nor should it be. It's loaded. It comes with all kinds of of hopes & expectations. It's different animal than the rest of acting. It carries the promise of more than just a job. An audition for a good role can be the seed from which blooms a whole career. No sense pretending this isn't the case.
In myself, my relationships, the organizations I'm involved with, there's probably nothing I value more than growth. To me this means striving relentlessly to improve what I do & how I do it. I believe that the craft / the job / the very act of being an actor & tending to the stuff of acting offers an extraordinary way to grow as a human being.
Art is a crisis. In the moment of making it & in what it elicits. The crisis of art causes those in the midst of it to forget for a while the unpaid bills, the kids’ soccer schedule, the gossip from the night before. The persistent rattle of the day-to-day, with all its compelling little nothings, fades. & in its place, rising up, instead we hear the essential questions about who we are & what we should do & why.
Think about the traits that creative people possess. Creative
people don’t follow the crowds; they seek out the blank spots on
the map. Creative people wander through faraway and forgotten
traditions and then integrate marginal perspectives back to the
mainstream. Instead of being fastest around the tracks everybody knows,
creative people move adaptively through wildernesses nobody knows.
From a NY Times op-ed article, The Creative Monolopy. The idea: how the competitive mind-set serves to undermine creativity. Creativity & competition = polar opposites.
From my vantage point in the workroom, the lure of the competitive arena is tricky. Winning is fun.