A Need to Recharge
I finished performing in the Hero Now Theatre production of The Oresteia, written by Aeschylus, adapted by Rob Hardy, and directed by Kristin Aitchison. Our final show was on September 18th. Some people liked it and some didn't; it was a mixed bag. It was definitely a challenging role as the Watchman. Not challenging in the "how do I deal with these heavy emotions every night" kind of way, but heavy in the "how do I make exposition seem not so exposition-ey" kind of way. All in all, I'm glad to have performed in my first classic Greek play.
A truly awesome event happened in my life since August 3rd and that was being a Teaching Assistant for a Michael Chekhov technique workshop that Rich Remedios was teaching. Earlier in the year, he went to study with the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium and began learning the tools of the technique. He decided to start teaching and exploring this technique with some of his Meisner students and other colleagues of his. I asked if I could be his teaching assistant since I had previous experience with the technique and he said "sure". I'm not engaging in hyperbole when I say it was one of the coolest experiences of the year. Being able to teach these professional adult actors something they didn't know much about was very fulfilling! The way their eyes would light up when they really engaged with the work or the sheer joy on their faces and being able to create little bits of art while in the classroom was truly remarkable. There were only four classes but I hope that they learned enough to be able to apply at least some of it to their next project or audition. I also encourage anyone reading this blog to read To the Actor by Michael Chekhov and The Michael Chekhov Handbook: For the Actor by Lenard Petit if you have an interest in the technique.
Up next on my plate is.....nothing. And this isn't a bad thing. When I first moved here in 2013, my goal was to just get paid to act and take whatever was offered. I did that and for over two years, I've only done paid work (except for shooting a web series that will probably never see the light of day). But now, I've come to the realization that just getting paid work is not enough. The work has to excite me, has to remind me of why I became an actor in the first place, has to be of high artistic quality. I don't say this to sound elitist or to shit on anybody's work. I say this because life is too short to devote weeks or months of your time to a project that doesn't stir up your creative embers. It is for this reason I have decided to take a break and get back into training. Aside from my Meisner class earlier in the year, I haven't done much training. I'm changing that by taking an 8-week Shakespeare class with Alison Edwards through Remedios Creative LLC and then I've also got a couple workshops with Bob Rosen scheduled for November. I'm thinking about taking a class on Alexander Technique as well. I'll end with a quote from Prince Hal:
"So, when this loose behavior I throw off
And pay the debt I never promised,
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,
Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll so offend, to make offence a skill;
Redeeming time when men think least I will."