acting · community · direction · friendship · performance · poetry · school · self-support · theater · work

"I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"

When I was growing up, when my family went on long car
rides, my dad had
instituted a rule. My brother and I could only ask the question “Are we there
yet?” three times, combined. Not three for him, three for me. Not phrased
differently to bypass the rule. Three times. Are we there yet.
I’m sort of glad the Universe doesn’t have a rule like that,
although I suppose it sort of does. For the number of times that I’ve asked
what’s next, the answer remains as vague as the Magic 8 ball’s “Reply Hazy –
Ask Again Later.” Apparently 3 seconds later is not later enough, and you get,
“Cannot Predict Now.”
But, it’s sort of comforting in some ways I suppose. A friend
said to me recently that we don’t know what’s next because it reminds us we’re
not G-d. I also heard that G-d loves us just enough to not let us know what’ll happen next. The perpetual
“SURPRISE!” type Higher Power. But, really, I think that if I ever knew really
what was to happen next, I’d spend a lot of time manipulating to my way of
thinking – if I’m meant to go in direction A, then I’ll start to pack for that
direction, not knowing that perhaps I’m supposed to go to A, but with a byway
in L, Q, and H in order to learn what I need by the time I get to A.
I was out with a group of us school poet folk last night at
dinner after our performance poetry … performance. Which went highly well, I’d
say. Pretty full theater, no technical problems, and, me, in my makeshift
nudesuit – because really, when the else time would I have the opportunity to
do that??
So, we’re out at dinner, and the women who are finishing
their first year are asking about my experience there, if I took cross-courses
at Berkeley, if I’ll stay in the Bay Area, and what’s next. And they’re
just curious. I say that I really took school sort of as a walk – I looked into
taking a GTU cross-course, but didn’t. But, I took painting, and singing, and acting.
I mean, it is a liberal arts college
(though you may not guess that from the highly funded business school it now
hosts). I
did take the school
experience as a bit of a walk. It wasn’t academically rigorous. I think I took
one class that had a lot of reading on theory and criticism. I took one that
had moderate reading like that. And the rest, well, they were pretty much,
write poetry, read poetry, discuss poetry. Period. It was sort of awesome.
I suppose I feel a little chagrined at not having taken more
advantage of the opportunity, but then on the other hand, I think I also took great
advantage in ways that weren’t as “rigorous.” I did just find out yesterday
that you could rent the most awesome a/v tech equipment for up to two days –
even lighting and high tech cameras and video cameras – so I’m a
little bummed I didn’t take advantage of that – cuz it sounds AWESOME. I guess
I do have a few days left! Maybe I’ll be a filmmaker for a few days, as I
continue to send out tendrils into the work world.
I have one more class to complete. I have a class time on
Thursday for Acting Fundamentals, and then our class performance next
Wednesday. It’s just a scene, each of us students paired with someone and doing
a scene assigned by the professor. But, I feel really comfortable there. I
forget. I mean, after that flurry of activity in December and January around
headshots and auditions and monologues, I let it all go to focus on school,
which was appropriate, but now that I have a little more breathing room, I hear
it. Like I hear the painting studio.
Stress and creativity aren’t quite compatible I suppose.
But, in any case, being on stage last night (though I wish I’d reread my piece
before I got onstage, as it was quite distracting to know I was/appeared
naked!), and practicing my scene with my class partner, I mean, I just feel like
I know this. There’s an incredible
amount to learn, but I know about blocking, and staging. I helped the two of us
create movement in the scene, to listen to the text and let it inform us. I
also tried to not be bossy 😉 as this was a joint effort. But I felt in my
element.
I have an invitation to have coffee with an acting friend of
mine – something that’s been pushed down the pages of the calendar like a
shuffle board disc, and I intend to ask my acting teacher to coffee for an
“informational interview” type conversation. But as I continue to look for
work, to find out where and how I’m supposed to earn, and embody the question “what can I give”
rather than “what can I get,” and let go
of the Am I There Yet, I can also take FULL advantage of what I have in front
of me – advocates, peers, and a wicked a/v department. 
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