Archives for the month of: May, 2012

When you have a target, and the aim is true, you will hit the mark.  The director of the play I just finished performing in offered me parts in both ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘MacBeth’, without my needing to audition.  After first working with him last summer in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ I took the time to send a Thank You card following the final show.  Since then, in addition to his recent offers, he has cast me as a lead role and a few supporting roles in his productions.  By recognizing an opportunity to express gratitude, I strengthened a relationship and established myself as an appreciative actress interested in working with him again.

My ambition has been to achieve larger roles and work regularly while getting paid within the field of acting, in turn generating favorable circumstances to practice marketing and networking.  A few weeks ago I invited three newspapers to the most recent play.  This was the first step (after researching and calling to generate contact information) in establishing a relationship. Whether they showed-up this time or not, I have taken steps, with follow through, to grow a friendly working rapport.  In the near future I will compose another e-mail welcoming their attendance at each of the Shakespeare month long runs in July and August, with an extra line or two expressing interest in their current work, moving me one more notch above a ‘never heard of’.  Expanding the list to include three additional newspapers with each production, to make a total of nine writers I consistently contact professionally, will surely increase my chances of a favorable review in at least one periodical.

Truly, I admire writers, anyone living creatively really.  Having written and loved poetry since childhood, to be paid to write- songs, articles, greeting cards- is a chance I would hop on in a heartbeat.  Life can be perceived as random and less than envisioned.  However, each moment prepares us to live more fully, each day presents a chance to create the destined dream.  Make a S.M.A.R.T. plan, devoting one hour everyday to your objective, for, with perseverance passion can be made a paid reality.

A fellow actor told me I would make a great Magenta in a live performance of ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’.  He followed up by asking if I can sing.  Stammering to answer, eventually I came out with a “yes”, explaining my hesitation how- despite mother’s teasing of my then preteen rendition of  Madonna- I have been told by a teacher, in a singer’s voice workshop, I am good enough and should go out for vocal auditions.  Confidence is the challenge I face when standing up to ambitiously belt it out in front of people.  Akin to anything, if you do not sing with all you have, from the depths of your guts, the outcome will be splintered.

Additionally, the aforementioned actor is currently undergoing chemotherapy in order to survive stomach [strike that, I was corrected, it is actually] “ASS” cancer.  In response to my embarrassed explanation he said “without being rude or insensitive, get over it- life is too short”.  Perspective is a wondrous skill.  He is, of course, absolutely right.  Keeping my voice private because of a silly fear to be judged is a handicap I volunteer to carry as my burden.  Realizing this, I can choose to cast off this albatross, just as I have forbidden ‘guilt’, now too shall I deprive fear.

To state in the affirmative: I foster innocence and demand bravery for this life.  It is no surprise to find often the two go hand in hand- when I shirk away from something due to fear, guilt remains for not going after my ambition.  No tomorrow is promised to me, and though I not-so-secretly dream of living to be an all around healthy 111 year-old, the best lessons I have learned from my elders has been one of no regrets, which notably includes saying and doing as you please (causing no harm to others) in pursuit of happiness.  A spry woman 95 years of age tickled me when she shared her two secrets to great health: sex and yogurt!  She made no qualms and did not take herself too seriously.  Life is about the living of it, for the brief whole time we remain above the ground.

“And all the men and women merely players” – ah Shakespeare.  Some people “act”…. some watch…. some PLAY!  We all play as children, at some point we loose the value of becoming lost in our imaginations. The power of envisioning possibilities.  I swear, one afternoon I practiced a day-dream as an emotional exercise for a scene, and that night it materialized into an actual event in the stairwell and on the rooftop of the acting school.  Oh….and that was a BIG, passionate O, I-talians and their surprises!

An emotional day-dream, as an actor, is a workout for the emotional muscles, so to speak, and the muscles of the imagination- to stretch and strengthen depth and availability for when access is depended upon instantaneously in the moment of a scene.  You’ve heard of marvelous actors such as Daniel Day-Lewis who stay in character throughout the entire filming process, although this method may be mocked by some actors, when you are already IN a state of truth for the imaginary it IS easier to delve deeper and go farther- just as when you work out regularly- strength and endurance are gained.  Take a look at some of Mr. Day-Lewis’s roles and tell me his characters are a shining example of INtensity!  The same is true for emotions and imagination. One may intuit the need for a conscious care and consideration to both areas of what EXACTLY you are strengthening- is it what you truly want, or are you empowering anxiety?

Opening night was recently upon me for a fun four-character thriller I had been rehearsing.  Waiting to enter from backstage, forgotten was fear for the fact I was about to be standing in front of an audience literally in my bra and panties, rather, I dwelled in pure excitement to live TRUTHFULLY in circumstances imaginary to my life- and the passion for PLAY!  Life consists of the moments we endure, the future we hope, and dedication we either put toward or put off to truly achieve our dreams.  Either way Time will pass and we are either disappointed by our stagnancy or  smiley with our progress.

Sundays occasionally prove emotionally challenging.  As the eve of returning to the five day, nine to five, work week at a job lacking the creativity I yearn to fill my life- Sundays signify the end of Freedom. Sometimes I persevere, redirecting slight depression to focus on seizing moments in pursuit of opportunities to sustain this standard of living through Acting.  There is a value to having a job, and I am grateful for the ‘comfort’ to pay the bills and throw a twenty percent chunk straight into savings.  I am even more thankful to have chosen to live within my means, rather than beyond them as so many people fall into the trap of doing.  Each day I show up for the job, I am closer to a monetary goal which will create true freedom by allowing me to wean from the “real job in the ‘grown-up’ world” and court the passion of my life full time.

Since the beginning of this year, monthly goals have been set toward gathering tools to market myself, to research/establish industry contacts, and to work the net of afore mentioned contacts- all while saving for a future truly free to achieve a dream with dedication. Postcards, business cards, a website, this blog, and a growing list of newspaper writers, casting directors, and agents are the beginning to create an awareness of my name.  A casting director is only going to ‘find’ me once I put myself on her radar.  By sending a postcard with my eye-catching headshot and website information on one side and a short paragraph expressing genuine enthusiasm for his projects- past, current, and future- on the other side, praising her wins without asking for anything in return, I have created my very first !BLIP! on his screen.

In a month, I’ll follow up with two fresh, flatteringly honest paragraphs to !BLIP! her again with my presence.  Eventually my bonafide interest in him generates great possibility for her to affirmatively reciprocate a request for a write-up or audition.  It’s NOT ‘who you know’; rather ‘IT IS WHO KNOWS YOU’.  I am passionate about becoming known!  !BLIP!