Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sick Day

I should be at work right now, but whatever illness it is that is going around I've got.  It is not that bad, but a little extra rest is definitely on the docket.  I am in that somnambulant nether world between tired enough to sleep and just tired that you get when you are sick, so between running lines and drinking water I thought I would make an entry on the ol' blog. 

Rehearsal for Spelling Bee has been running apace and we got into the space this week.  Until last night I had felt very artificial and self aware in the roll.  Last night I made a decision that that would stop, and to a large extent I felt much better, even with the illness.  On the way home I gave thought to where the differences in my performance were coming from and it struck me how similar the issues I had and changes I made were to the ones I had with my health.  I was so much in my head that I forgot about the doing portion of the task.  I tried to plan and structure everything in advance.  I got obsessed with "making choices".  What I did last night was simplify.  I embraced the unpredictable nature of live theater and took what I was given.  In short I did the things I know I should do, but my analytical nature rebels against.  Laying the ground work is vital, but at a certain point you cannot plan your way to success.  It reminds me of the old baseball truism that you cannot steal first base.  You have to hit.  My health success started when I stopped thinking about what to do and took the leap.  It has been a great lesson for my acting.  I make good choices, but they come so late in the process that they don't really help my fellow actors and I don't give myself a chance to further grow.  They really haven't come until I was forced to act by the short time remaining in the rehearsal process.  I get stuck in the trap that making choices and owning the roll is a mental process only.  I think this show is going to be the start of a new way of working for me.  Preparation is key, but I plan to be bold and open earlier.  That is the risky part for me.  It can't be in my head anymore.  It is scary as hell, but as I found last night it is by far the best way to a performance I am pleased with.  I hope some of that makes sense.  It does to me, but that may be the NyQuil talking.  See you Saturday.


  1. I'm right ther with you, man! Same boat! Going into tech and I've just maybe figured out major things about one of the characters! Keep it up buddy! Thats what makes our job fun and nerve wracking!


  2. This is why having a brilliant mind has never been an actor's pre-requisite. If you can get it out of the way it is useful and great, but it can be a liability. As Joanne says in Vanities, "Oh, don't think. I've always found it's better not to think." :D

    Break a thought.