Sunday, July 26, 2009

What I Learned Today:

I have a lot to do tomorrow (3 auditions, and physical therapy for my ankle), and I have to get to bed early, so this will be short.

I went to see two short plays today, both written by wonderful playwright, Levy Lee Simon, Jr. I always say that going to theatre is like going to church. Well, it's also like going to SCHOOL, and as I was being entertained, I was also learning. Watching the actors - automatically cataloguing who was totally immersed in their character, and who was playing the character. Who was actually feeling the feelings as dictated by the writing, and who was acting like they felt the feelings.

The first piece, "Dad" was evocative, and made me think of my own familial influences and the wisdom passed down from them to me. The second piece was straight-up HILARITY!

But my purpose is not to critique the plays. My purpose is to remind other actors (and perhaps even other types of artists as well as I remind myself - never to cheat an audience by giving a perfunctory performance. Even that one or two-liner that we can do in our sleep; it may be tempting to sleep-walk through it, but don't. By using the basics (know your lines, dissect the text, prepare yourself emotionally, listen to what is being said to you, respond truthfully) EVERY TIME, you are making sure that you don't get lazy. And when the bigger roles come (and they will if we do what we are supposed to be doing), we are ready. Instead of fear, we feel excitement at getting to do what we DO! We owe it to ourselves and our audience to be fully present and to give our best each and every time. No exceptions. Again, I am reminding myself even as I remind you.

Prepare just like an athlete: They practice, because whatever they don't use, they lose, be it skill, knowledge, or reflex. Talent is only part of the equation.
Once prepared, get into the zone: Focus on your objective. (Hint: the objective is NEVER "to book the gig.")
THEN, when it's time, do what you do. If you've done your homework, you can trust that it's in you.

Alright, I'm making my way through "The Sopranos" on DVD (I don't have HBO, so I didn't see it while it was on the air. I'm on Season 3, episode... like 11 or something (too entrenched in the sofa to get up & look). I'm going to watch one more episode, then go to bed, because when I wake up, I have to lace up my rollerskates in preparation for a very busy day.

Pray, chant, dance, send good vibes, good karma, think happy thoughts... whatever you do - I welcome them all.

I'm on my mark, I'm ready, I'm set...


--Nicole

P.S. - Oh shoot - I forgot to tell you that I almost cancelled one of my 3 auditions. I'll tell you the story in my next post.

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