Saturday, December 05, 2009

"You have to think you`ll be one of the ones who makes it." Ron Eldard

What a nutso week. T opened Christmas Carol last night, but he was in previews all week, I had a slew of difficult auditions, and Miriam had an eye procedure. I had a minor panic at the beginning thinking we were never going to get it all coordinated drive wise, baby wise, schedule wise. Audition wise, at least, was stimulating and interesting. Theatre is my first love and what keeps me excited, BUT I am a very specific type, a soubrette. And my age is dicey on either end. Usually I throw up my hands when I get called in for shows, I don't do kitchen sink, I don't do subtle and I don't do small. I'm not bragging. I know what I do as an actor. I am CAPABLE of doing deep, little work, but no-one is all that interested in casting me in it. But what I CAN do, big, theatrical, classical, dirty, gritty and generally bitchy, I do very, very well. So it was fun to muck into scripts where I could simply BE in the roles. I enjoy ACTING, without worrying about trying to shoehorn myself into something I am not.
As an acting teacher, I try to emphasize to my students: Know who you are! For many years I longed to be the delicate little princess, the ingenue, the ice queen. Nice thought, but it didn't produce much work for me. It was when I embraced my TYPE, and stopped begging that I finally began to get cast in interesting roles.
Auditioning is ALWAYS icky for me, I hate it. My stomach churns, my knees shake, I feel like running away. What helps me is to over- prepare, know the material cold, and trust that my cockiness and technique will keep me from fainting in the room.
I don't think I am going to book either of the shows I really liked, but this was a good week in terms of trusting myself, and doing my best work. I feel more like Ali, and less like Frasier.


Sarah T. said...

What a great post! You ARE a soubrette! Yes yes yes...know who we are. It works in general as we navigate through life and not just in acting. Sage advice.

Petrea said...

What Sarah said! It would be nice if we could know who we are from the earliest moment, but for some of us it takes some doing. But when that knowledge comes, that's when you hit your stride.