Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wedding Week

I have a week off of break and I promised Mr. Simpson that I would spend the entire break (when I'm not doing homework) on wedding stuff.

I'm trying to change my attitude about the wedding. So far It causes me to have these monumental break downs with me convulsing on the floor and Mr. Simpson hovering over me saying, "Are you don't yet?" Planning the event is supposed to be fun, but I'm finding it stressful and just plain awful.

No matter what the choice is - someone's feeling's get hurt and it's a lot of pressure deciding who's feelings will get hurt the least.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Becoming an Artist

Finally a week break from the intensity of Cap21. It's a break I didn't anticipate needing, but I'm yearning for this break.

Our last class for the week before the break is Musical Theater History. Our normal teacher was out sick, so, we had the head of the entire school teach half our class. In the first of the half the class, Frank took us on a tour of the new building because we are expanding. Right now our classes are located on the 6th floor of a building with 10 floors with "normal" business people. Everyday we fill the elevator with our yoga mats and our awful conversations about acting, singing and the woes of the aches and pains from dance. Everyday we see them role their eyes as if we are poisoning them with our voodoo conversations. Sometimes they complain about us when they think the "6th" floor people aren't in the elevator. Then we told them that lady gaga and Matthew Morrison waited on this same elevator to go to the 6th floor and they quickly shut up. Anyway, we're finally expanding. We are taking over the 5th floor and the 6th floor and we are thrilled. The halls are so cramped sometimes with all the different programs running through our halls. So, we got to see the new hall. It's amazing with lots and lots of space!

When we got back to our classroom he started talking about the history of theater and by that I mean the history of theater as it pertains to his life. Fascinating to listen to his life as an artist, and then it' just as fascinating to talk to the woman who pretty much developed A Chorus Line. Then it hit me - all these amazing works of theater have changed musical theater as we know it happened because someone created it. I know that sounds tripe, but I'm forgetting that it is important to learn the craft, but it's just as important to push the limits. To reinvent theater. We're constantly saying it in class, but it's important to do it in my career as well: Dare to be wrong.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Unknown in the Familiar

When I first moved to New York, my very first waitressing job and my first job in new york was at the restaurant that I worked at for 1.5 years before I decided to go to Cap21. When I decided to quit, I had all these mixed feelings because I knew I wanted to pursue acting, but I loved the people that I worked with. Plus, the social aspect of working at a restaurant doesn't parallel with any other job. I also felt like I was becoming a career waitress and feeling stuck in my art which is why I left to go to school. I left in July so I could have a break and fly to California for Ash's wedding (whose birthday is also today.) Then in August, the restaurant closed for the month of September to become a brand new restaurant with the same owners.

Friday was the opening day of this amazing place, and while a lot of the staff is coming back, they have hired new people which need to be trained. In the interim time, some of the "old timers" are coming back for guest appearances myself included. When I first said I'd do it, I thought that it would be great since I can't truly have a job while I'm at school, I can pick up a few extra shifts as need be. I didn't anticipate the effect working there would have on me. So, this week I have three shifts, and I'm very grateful for them because I need the extra funds no doubt. Today was my first two hour appearance, and I felt so awkward.

I knew that place like the back of my hand and everything was different. When it was busy, I moved around there like I was sleep walking. Don't get me wrong - I worked very hard, but it's a second nature to me. Then today the place looks the same and the table numbers are the same, but EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT. I felt like that old "remember when" conversation that people have when there is nothing else to talk about. I was trying to find something familiar in this completely new world.

Then I had these overwhelming "why did I leave" emotions flooding me because I was thinking about how comfortable I felt then compared to how extremely uncomfortable I felt today. I started feeling like everything around me was completely changing and I was just floating by never changing always being the same. Even catching up with some of my friends, I realized that so much has been going on that I am completely out of the loop on. I'm excited and a little anxious to work the next couple of shifts I have. I hope the uneasy feeling goes away.

I understand that life changes, but there is a reason the word.. "comfort"-able exists.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Week 5?

I can't believe it's already October 2nd! Time is flying so fast and I have already been in school for 5 weeks! I think? Has it been 6? I'm losing track of time aaaaaand my mind!

This week my butt got kicked in many many many different ways.

We had this acting exercise called the Physical Score. We got this sheet that said Beginning Middle and End. In each of the sections we had a list. In the beginning sections we had to pick one way of entering/beginning the piece. So our choices were as follows: 1) Enter as if you're coming in from the snow or heavy rain. 2)Enter as if you just ran 6 flights of stairs or just ran a mile. 3)Enter as if you cut yourself...etc. Then in the middle section we had to pick six of the actions on the list like: you have a runny nose, yawn, there is a mosquito that just bit you etc. Then at the end we had to pick one action to end the piece ie: you absolutely don't want to leave or you're late for an audition. The point is to basically present natural human behavior. We had to write out every little detail and nuance of what we did. Then we gave it to our acting teacher and presented the piece in the exact same order we wrote it down. DO YOU KNOW HOW FREAKING HARD THAT IS?!?!?!?!? Get up in front of your class for three minutes and do nothing exactly the same way....reeeeeeeaaaady go! By doing nothing I mean do the stuff that everyone does naturally without thinking about it, but don't present or show or perform these natural mundane actions. DO IT. You know what I mean? Don't show the class that you're smelling something completely rank... smell something completely rank. It sounds so easy, but it's really not. It's really hard. Do you get dressed to leave your house in the morning THE EXACT SAME WAY every day? To ever last minute detail like - I go to leave I pick up my keys first, then my ipod, and then my wallet. Now do it again in the same order over and over and over. I hadn't even really thought about how I get dressed in the morning - I just know I have to leave the house and I can't be naked. The end. Thought over. Being a good actor is so much harder than people think.

Anyway, doing these "nothing" types of exercises makes me crazy. Even in my normal state I'm not normal. Yes, I am the type of person that screams Eminem lyrics as loud as I possibly can as I'm entering my apartment building and apartment. If I did that in my presentation, I would be showing... Ugh. Then I have aaaaaaalllllll this undergrad crap that just pours into me and all of my old insecure feelings paralyze me with fear! I had this awful relationship with the head of my undergrad program because basically I'm physco. I don't blame the head of my department for our awful relationship because I couldn't take in what I was supposed to be learning. I am a neurotic perfectionist that was always looking for the mathematical way of being a perfect actor. I wouldn't make an artistic decision because I was always afraid of being wrong. So, every question he'd ask me was answered by another question I asked. Right? I'm irritating. So, him and I created a very detrimental learning environment for me in my undergrad years. I constantly was feeling bad about myself and trying to please him instead of trying to be a good actor. All these crappy old feelings come back and I'm scared to get up there. Again, it's another fine/grey line about studying acting. You definitely want to show that you have put work and rehearsal into whatever you're presenting, and while a bad choice is better than no choice, you still don't want to make the wrong choice!

A break through for me: I had a very successful Physical Score. :) I actually did nothing pretty well. What an awesome feeling... and a large deep sigh of relief.... I felt a little awkward and bad for my classmates who felt like they were not as successful. ( I argued and thought that everyone did a great job.) I also felt a little awkward and the need to explain why I get so uncomfortably nervous. I'm not trying to hussle my class or set the expectation low and then exceed the low expectation I set... I really have these crappy crappy feelings from undergrad that I'm trying to work through. After all, it's been 10 freaking years since I started college. I better be a better actor than I used to be. You would think I would be over that crap by now right?