Perspective in Progress
A lot has happened since I wrote my last blog entry…the show run ended. There was the performance for my other show—a success! I pledged and joined Alpha Psi Omega (the national collegiate honor society for thespians, is anyone else a member?) and as soon as finals were finished, I took a train to New York City with a small class of English majors to compare the Broadway productions to the scripts we had been reading. I was lucky enough to see Death of a Salesman and even luckier, we were in town for the first preview night of Harvey. I was only in town a few days on a tight schedule (most of my free time was spent walking/subway riding to where I guessed was where I wanted to go. I haven’t figured out the trick yet to reading subway maps (or Central Park maps either).
Now I’m back from the city and in my childhood home, dividing up my possessions depending on what part of the state they are going. I’m moving out again to spend my summer working House Management for a theatre company and my contract ends the weekend I head back to school—so everything I own is separated into three piles: college, work, home. That’s the way I envision it’s going to be for the next few years at least. Is there ever a time when an actor gets to say “This is my house and I’m going to stay here no matter how the casting goes?” Just curious.
Well, while I am packing, I tend to be easily distracted by Netflix and more importantly, by re-reading the journal entries I made at the beginning of the year. Talk about perspective! Last August, I was in a bad place, mostly emotionally, but I had the ambition to change that. I got back to college, I cut my hair short (I’ve never had short hair before but I’m still loving it!) and on my first day of classes, I got into the BFA Voice and Movement class. I wrote about how I wanted to create theatre and that this year I was going to work on figuring out my type and where I wanted to go with this.
Two semesters later: Accomplished. The funny thing is, I didn’t set out to achieve those goals, it’s like they were in the back of my mind as I went along and they happened anyways. All of my performances were original shows ranging from commedia and busking, 24 hour plays and devised theatre and it was all so much more satisfying to me, to make it. The last show of the year was one created by and for my Voice and Movement class—a year ago, I had no idea if I would be allowed to join the class but I was going to ask anyways. No regrets, right? I’ve learned more in this class than I’ve ever learned in my life, including the idea of “no regrets”. I applied that idea to audition too, which took place in that same first week. I wrote long, detailed entries on every single audition and the aftermath. I’m proud to say that I did follow my no-regrets rule: I fell off a chair but the director/auditioner did ask me to be in his other show the next day! Unfortunately, I wasn’t cast in any of the other big shows but I took feedback where I could, even from friends. A friend of mine pointed out post-auditions that he can’t ever see me being (forgive the language, but) a bitch, hence the lack of casting? He was right and by the end of this year, I had two opportunities to play the bitchy characters. For my efforts, I was awarded by the seniors, the Sweetheart award.
Sometimes you got to do what you think is wrong to know that it is, right? Being a bitch was that for me. Trying to play characters that aren’t right for me helped me get a sense of what is right. Another source of feedback comes directly from my professors. Before the end of the semester wrapped up, I scheduled a meeting with our department head who’s known for giving you a serious and honest talk about looking forward at your potential post-graduate future. Better two years before than two weeks, right? So I got that but I also got a glimpse of past-perspective from another professor on my last day of classes. I had him since Day 1, in the Intro to Acting class and he’s seen me mess up and he’s seen me have the lightbulb moments. So to hear him say how much I’ve grown as an actor since then—seeing from another angle of perspective is always nice too.
I feel this post is mostly rambling about what happened to me this past school year but I tried to give it some purpose and good valid points. Setting goals for yourself and accomplishing them; no regrets and all that. Mostly, that you can’t judge where you are without seeing where you came from, that long road in getting there. What I’ve learned in a year, the short version. My perspective though, is always in progress because I am a work in progress. I got this far and as far as I’m concerned, I have a lot farther to go than I can see from my perspective but I’m already coming up with next year’s goals.