Sailing the DN Undauntless
Some of my best friends were there last night. Bob and Mary, Wayne and Pam, and Rachel. Bob was my manager for the third contract I had at Microsoft, starting July of 1998 (or was it '97?). The last six months of that contract Wayne joined our group, and we shared an office. We and several others from that group have remained very good friends since. Happily, Bob is starting work in my group at Expedia about the same time my leave of absence is up (more on that later). They really enjoyed the show, and as it was Shakespeare and only one of them had seen the play before, it was gratifying they really got it. People who have seen the play, or are familiar with Shakespeare would get a lot, but to have people who don't see Shakespeare as often really get it and enjoy it is great praise.
Rachel, who many of you bloggers already know, I met in the Winter of 2001 when I took my third acting class at Bellevue Community College. I went on to take her classes for several years. So, I had long time friends from both sides of my life at the same show. Those with a casual relationship to theatre, and Rachel with a professional relationship. She told me I was developing in a way that reminded her of a local professional actor -- my favorite local actor. That literally took my breath away.
Steve and Paula were at the opening on Thursday, and Steve commented on how great it has been to watch me grow in the training, as by the time he'd met Paula she was already quite accomplished. We met in 2002, as I was getting ready to pursue intermediate training, having taken lots of beginning classes. For me it was another very meaningful and personal compliment, reinforced by Greg's comment the following night.
I am (painfully) aware of lots of areas I need to work hard on to improve. I still feel like a rank beginner, but these different comments and compliments help keep me going. I am making headway, heck, maybe even a lot. It occurred to me as I was warming up on Friday that I wasn't thinking of Shakespeare in terms of how to get the verse and prose correct. The text feels plain and clear. The work of the year has gotten me to a point, at least for the roles I have in The Merchant Of Venice, where the language is comfortable and as natural feeling as any modern play I've worked on. The challenge is to be able to maintain the level of text analysis which allows for this, while moving forward on and assimilating everything else. Hell, I don't even feel like I've assimilated more than half of what I did in Meisner two years ago. Once again it is daunting, which makes it all the more exciting. Not many easy things are exciting. Landing on the moon, the early crossings of the ocean, and the early crossings of the continent. If they had not been daunting, they would not have been exciting either.
Here's to hoping you find that which daunts you.
PS - DN = Double Negative