Sunday, March 13, 2011

In Love Again...

Oh, boy - where do I begin??

As my 7th grade homeroom teacher would say when asked that question regarding paper-writing, "Begin at the beginning, and end at the end."

I sooo friggin' love live theatre.

My play, "The Young Man From Atlanta," opened this weekend. I haven't done a full-length play since 2003, so it has been a reawakening of sorts. Missing theatre terribly, I submitted my headshot & resume for this play as soon as I saw the breakdown. I received the script soon afterwards, and waited 3 days to start working on it! I actually considered not going to the audition because I "wasn't prepared" (something I must admit that I did once before). I examined the incongruency of my declaration of "missing theatre" and not bothering to prepare for my audition, and found that fear was behind my self-sabotage. With one day remaining, I worked long and hard on the script, until I felt confident that I had made the best choices possible. In my audition the next day, I left feeling GREAT! Two days later, I received a call, offering me the role.

As I began the audition process, I became acutely aware of how RUSTY and LAZY I had become as an actor. No offense to anyone, but in my experience, theatre requires that actors perform on a much higher level than television or commercials. I haven't done much film work (only a few indie/ short projects), so I won't speak on that. In theatre, you get ONE TAKE per audience, and those people paid to see you put on a show, so your performance had better be on point. It's like walking a tightrope... on occasion, you MAY stumble (or skip a line or two), and if your fellow actors are skilled and merciful, they may be able to save you, however, there is always the possibility of crashing to the ground and dying a horrific death... onstage... under a bunch of bright lights... in front of a live audience. So, again, you'd better have it together. I've said nothing of reviewers writing furiously in the front row as you begin your two-page monologue. One take. I love it.

This has reignited my love affair with acting, something that had previously been on the wane. I feel more creative freedom than I have felt in a very long time. It was truly a collaboration of artists - each of us realizing that the input of the other was both necessary and valuable. While I have been fortunate to work on sets where I have felt appreciated and respected, I haven't felt like I've had this type of creative input. Maybe it's because I always play larger roles onstage than I've ever played onscreen, but I'm loving it.

I am awake, I am (once again) in love with acting, and I know that my passion for the creative fuels me.

I've also given up Facebook and Twitter for lent. Some people freak out when they ask me if I've seen something or other on Facebook, and I tell them I'm not checking it until after Easter. As someone who values freedom, I tend to chafe at being too firmly bound by anything. I often catch myself having an experience, and feeling compelled to share it on Twitter. When I remember that I can't, I am "forced" to sit with the experience and absorb it more fully on my own, or with people who are actually present (in the flesh) with me. This is how we used to do it in the "olden days," and I think it's a better option. More on this as more time passes (it's only been 5 days).

My mom flew in for opening weekend, one of my best-est friends in the whole wide world came to the show on opening night, and my latest TV husband came last night (totally unexpected). I'm feeling pretty good right now. I feel supported, I feel impassioned, I feel emboldened, and I feel like I have a responsibility to create good things that will touch people who need their own dose of inspiration. Right now, I'm going to recharge my batteries with a much-needed nap, then get up and write.

Hasta...

--Nicole

4 comments:

A said...

love. you so inspire me...you're like a breath of being fully alive...just in a blog ;) thank you for sharing yourself. much love and "yeaayyyyy"... avesha

Nicole J. Butler said...

Hey Avesha!

Thanks for commenting & wishing me "yeaayyyyy!" Who can't use more of that? ;o)

I wish you joy.

--Nicole

Bob said...

All that and you never said what or where it's playing??? :-)

Nicole J. Butler said...

Hi Bob -

Glad you're interested! At the beginning of the post, there's a link that will take you to the info, but I'll post it here as well in case anyone else misses it.

Hope you can make it!

--Nicole

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/159814