End of the Year - 2018
Normally, winter is a time when we get to settle down, reflect on the past year, and eat some good holiday food while we brace for the cold months ahead. But not for me, at least this winter. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been booked with acting gigs since July. To do back-to-back-to-back-to-back plays is a rarity for me so I’m very grateful. Especially considering that in the spring of 2018 I was lost and dispirited when it came to my acting career. But since July, I’ve been in Cyrano on the Moon at the Minnesota Fringe Festival; Awake and Sing! at Artistry; The Last Schwartz at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company; and am currently in the Orchard Theater Collective’s production of Twelfth Night. Come see it!
I also took an Alexander Technique class at the Guthrie, which was taught by Eli Sibley. I think the technique itself is great but I think if I take any more classes in Alexander Technique, it needs to be something that I do more than once a week so that I can properly absorb it. Aside from that, I haven’t been able to take any other classes since the summer, not counting the coaching sessions that I’ve been taking to get me ready for another round of grad school auditions.
Since October I’ve been regularly meeting with one of my go-to acting coaches, Kate Powers, to help me choose and craft a monologue package for my MFA auditions which will happen in January of 2019. Kate has been great at helping me choose monologues; pushing me to go deeper and explore the text more fully; just being a good mentor. If she ever leaves Minnesota, it will be our loss. I’ve also been sporadically taking singing lessons with Kenny Kiser (based on the recommendation of my friend, Ali Daniels) since some of these grad schools are asking for some a capella singing in the audition. I also got a little coaching from Ricardo Vasquez. Both Kate and Ricardo I would recommend. And though I haven’t taken a class with him since May, I’ll throw out Rich Remedios’ name as well. He’s got classes coming up in the winter/spring. Check them out!
Which brings me to my next topic: actor training and coaching. To put it bluntly: just do it. If you can afford it, it’s a must. I know that there are plenty of opportunities to act but if you are looking at this as your career and as a business, you should want to continually get better at your craft and pick up new skills. To do that, you need to train. The moment you think you’ve got it all together is the moment it all falls apart. I used to have this mindset of “Well, I’ve got my undergrad degree and I keep getting cast, so why would I train”?
Well, excuse my language but, fuck that. That’s called settling and it leads to mediocrity. There’s always room to improve. Find it. Pursue it. If money is an issue, get together with friends, read plays, work on monologues, give each other feedback, take advantage of free or cheap opportunities. Even at the age of 30 I still continue to train and my craft and subsequently my career has gotten better each year. If you want me to recommend a teacher or a group to get involved with, send me an e-mail. Let’s talk.
Ok, back to the point of this whole update. Once again, I will be auditioning for grad schools to get my MFA in acting. This will be the third year of MFA auditions for me. Last year, I got two offers to schools that, ultimately, I had to turn down. Sometimes, knowing what to turn down is just as important as knowing what to accept. This time I’ll be flying to New York for the URTAs, as well as some private auditions. I have no idea what’s going to happen but I’ve been planning this since the beginning of the year, so at the very least I’ll be prepared. Oh, and this will be my first visit to New York. I won’t have much time for sightseeing but if you have any must-eat restaurants to suggest, do so in the comments. Thanks for reading!