Jan 20, 2011

Acting School. Spring Awakening.

Last weekend we finally got to see "Spring Awakening". The tour came through for only two days and to my surprise, I was able to see the final night. I didn't think I'd get to see it at all with my rehearsal schedule. I bought tickets for myself and my sweetheart.

In 2000 I was able to see a workshop of S.A. at Sundance. It was a weird turn of events that lead me there but I remember getting to see it and see Duncan Sheik walking around all the time & thinking to my very young self that he was really onto something! ;)

It was one of those things that stuck with me and then years later I find out it is indeed now a full fledged musical. At the Atlantic Theater of all places! I graduated from the ATC Acting School. I've performed in the ATC theatre. And omg, Mary McCann was in it. She goes way back with ATC and was around while I was in school along with her husband, Neil Pepe. It seemed that great things were tangible and that some things are just kismet.

I never got to see it in NYC but I listened to the music, I saw clips of live performances. Woah, it was so different than what it was in workshops! I still loved it.

So here we are, last weekend and there it is. Live. Right in front of me. It was just what I'd wanted it to be. I don't often see plays I enjoy to this extent. It's been almost a week and I can't stop thinking about it. I wish I could see it again, ten times. It took me back to being a little girl in the audience, seeing something truly special and saying to myself, "I want to do that!"

There was something about how young the cast was and how much energy, ease and passion comes from performing when you're 20 years old. I saw the difference. I remembered what it was like to truly love every moment. I still do when I perform, but it's different. The second "Bitch of Living" started I grabbed my sweetheart and my eyes filled up with tears. I was never bored, I loved every second of it. I didn't want it to end. I was impressed by the little rock stars, really impressed.

But. I did leave with a bit of sadness hanging over me. I saw things in a new way. I'm on the other end of these roles. I don't feel older. I feel forever 20. It's weird to think I will age, I will play older roles, there are roles and plays that will never, ever happen because I have aged out. Well fuck.

My sweetheart said something along the lines of that being a good thing because then you can just sit and relax and enjoy it, not think "I could have done it better" and that it's a really cool show. I said that's the problem, that it's a really cool show! I want to be (or at least wish I could be) in that really cool show!

It's just...weird.

This, combined with the way we've been rehearsing for my current play, "Persian Quarter" has taken me down memory lane the last week. The memory of acting school. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. What a love hate relationship I had with NYC, school, myself, the people in my life at that time. I don't know how I did it. I'm the most proud of myself for what I learned, what I accomplished and for getting through it then I am with anything in my entire life. It's so precious to me. I can't sum up that time or put it into words to ever do it justice. I try, for the sake of conversations but no one will ever know.

I am thinking fondly of teachers (Bella, Lee, Anya who each said things to me that I'll never forget, who challenged me, who believed in me and who forever inspired me), of learning, of scenes, of rehearsals in that strange time that will never be repeated, that nothing will ever come close to.

And I "smile to myself knowing I left tear drops all over the streets of NYC"
an excerpt from one of my poems from that time.

BRAVO to the "Spring Awakening" cast. It's been awhile since I've been hit like that with a performance/show that was charged, inspiring and won't get out of my head.

THAT'S why I do this.

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Persian Quarter at SLAC :

Um...remember when I said I wanted a break? Now that I'm in the thick of "Persian Quarter" I don't. :) It just makes me want to do it more. I want to do everything and it's hard to stay at rest. It really is. This is one of the biggest pieces I've ever done. Big big big in every sense of the word. From scenes that are over 30 minutes long, to the most difficult dialect I've ever had to learn (thank god for IPA - to those in school, PAY ATTENTION) to a new style of dancing, to these particular costumes, to dying my hair again for the role. The list goes on. The undertaking is huge. The emotion is huge. The memorization. Technicalities to my own physical and emotional state. It's a lot.

It's stressful. It's very very hard.

How did I get so lucky?


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It makes me look back fondly on my school days. Remember what I came from. Who I hoped to be. I had all the hope in the world and the confidence that this would work out. I feel I was there right when I was supposed to be.

Everything is kismet. No, I'm not on Broadway. But that's okay. I'm where I'm supposed to be. It's all relative.

Now I'm on the fourth year of working consistently as a member of Actors Equity. In really great shows. Roles actresses would die to play. Again, I am constantly aware of how lucky I am. I am more than appreciative and thankful. Very very thankful.

I want to do this as much as I can, for as long as I can, while I still can.


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