Every once in a while the stars align and you can perceive and actually believe your art is growing and improving. For a moment anyway.
This Summer I was in As You Like It
on the basis of an earlier audition for MacBeth
with the same company. For another director in the same company I auditionedn for a show this Fall, but was invited to a callback and subsequently cast for a different show early next year. I had an audition on Saturday, and I was not cast but the director wrote me a very complimentary Email, asking if she could call on me later. So, even without being cast they turned out to be three very successful auditions. I'm also precast for a "pirate" show, and looking forward to that. It is for the same folks who put on Noah Way Out
, which was tremendously enjoyed by cast and audience. In fact it is the same writer, and he's writing the part with me in mind.
Sunday night I went to an Open House at Freehold, mostly to see their new digs and meet the instructors for the classes I signed up for (Solo Performance and Voice Over). I chatted with George, telling him I'd like a little guidance as I'd been asked to consider conducting a mask workshop for the theatre group that put on Noah Way Out
. George was excited, asking me to call so we could get together and talk about it. I was prepared to explain that I'd talked up how helpful I thought mask work was, and that was why I was asked, but George didn't really give me the chance for my self-effacing explanation. His immediate enthusiasm was an indirect compliment which later reminded me of a number of little successes, including those I mentioned above.
It is so much easier to berate myself. Why is that? Is it the disproportionate guilt over the little feeling of happy smugness when I feel good about where I'm going? Or because I know how much better I could do if I had the time? Some combination I'm sure. I am hungry to learn more skills and hone the ones I have, so I have a bigger toolbox to select from for the next show.
I've found that having more things to try, allows me to make better decisions when preparing with the time constraints of a full time day job. Some shows doing more animal work feels like the ticket, others more Meisner type imagery, some want more classical treatment, or more text analysis. I suspect even with the time to do everything I'd still focus more on the items that feel like they'd be more effective for the project at hand. There is no rule, just a feeling of what I want to work on based on the piece and my mood, and what I feel can make the most difference at that moment. More than a little intuition. Notice, I didn't jump to the conclusion that it is consistently good intuition. ; )
I'm looking forward to the classes. Even when work is too busy to let me work on a show (which to be fair is not often), I can still be productive and find ways get outside my comfort zone.