Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Catching Up

And just like that, several weeks go by. I did not mean to drop out of circulation like that, especially after committing to emotional honesty in my posts. However, things didn't quite turn out the way I thought they would and, well, sometimes real life does intervene and take focus. Thanks for checking up on me.

I'm sorry I haven't been keeping this up as frequently as I should (read: at all). I'm not sure why it's been so difficult to carve some time out, but it has. The days seem to fly by. When evening comes around, I'm hardly up for more writing.

This is a "catch up" post, hence the picture. (Get it? Hee Hee.)

The play went well. Folks liked the show and I received a lot of good feedback on my performance. I enjoyed working with the cast (and crew) and hope to work with them again in the future.

As an aside, it was a bit different being in a play at this stage in my life. I regularly participated in community theatre at the start of my career. While I'd been through some stuff growing up, I hadn't had the range of life experience that I have now.

When I approached a role back then, I had to invent responses to the situations my characters were in. If, for example, my character was going through a divorce or had lost a child, I had to find places in myself where I could imagine that sort of thing happening and then try to invent emotional responses to those situations.

This time, however, I had the benefit of a few more miles to work with. When I learned my scene took place in New York City, I had an immediate (and visceral) response. Having lived there, I have specific memories to draw on. I know the different between the Daily News and the New York Times. Even better, I have a preference between the two papers that I could tap into when my character expressed frustration at being unable to find a copy of the News.

Having eaten at several delis in the city, I knew exactly why my character would prefer pastrami over tongue. (I've had both, by the way, and while I can see why some people like tongue, I definitely prefer pastrami. Though a good salami is better, in my book.)

When I was in college, one of my acting instructors said, to the class at large, that we didn't yet have the life experience to draw upon to do great work. At the time, I was a little miffed, in part because my childhood was a bit harder than that of most of my classmates.

I have better understanding of (and appreciation for) my instructor's comment. I'm not completely sure I know what I'll do with that knowledge, but I do appreciate being able to understand it more clearly.

In any event, it was a somewhat different experience building a character directly from my own memories. I really enjoyed it and am glad I had the experience.

Having said that, it was a little hard on our family, especially the final week of rehearsals. On rehearsal and performance nights, I wouldn't get home until after 11:00 p.m. Since JP was usually asleep by then, we didn't see much of each other and I really missed being able to connect to her. She handled it with grace, but I could tell the extra chores were hard on her.

Still, I'm glad I did the play. As hard as it was on us, I really enjoyed the opportunity to shake a few cobwebs off some of my old skills. I definitely want to find a way of doing another theatre project at some point, but I think I'll give JP a chance to have me around before I start looking. (It'll also give me a chance to work off a bit of my sleep debt.)

Hm. In looking at the size of this post, I'm beginning to think I should save some of the planned content for the next post. With luck, I'll put it online later this week.

Photo credit: Gordon Joly.