WHAT? The Year Is Halfway Done??…

Last October, at my BFF Sarah’s birthday/dance party, I got a tarot card reading.

For those of you that have never had one, I would equate it with getting unbiased advice from a deck of cards.

I was given a deck of cards to shuffle and as I did so I was asked to think to myself a question that I would like help with.  So as shuffled, my mind raced because there are a million questions that I would like help with. My guess is that my subconscious knew the real question that was in my heart.

Here’s the draw that I got

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The bottom row (what I remember anyway, after all it was nearly a year ago) is my foundation.  The first card, Chariot, I was told means that I am really good at controlling things that I have control over. Just as in a chariot you have to control the horses and which roads you take all the while you have to make sure you don’t fall off the cart yourself. The second card, Illumination, means that I have a good grasp of the knowledge that I need in my “field of work,” if you will. The third, Trust, means that I am secure in what “path” is.

Here’s where I freaked the hell out.

The second level of this is about your passion.  The first card is who you are. And this, THIS is what I drew…

I REALLY want this as a tattoo!
I REALLY want this as a tattoo!

She said this is what you are at the core of your being.  And out loud I have never proclaimed or embraced or spouted it to people that I meet.  I say I enjoy doing it, but never outright say I am an actor.  But to draw this card from on top of a pile of 50 other cards and for it to land where it did, tells me that I need to follow my path.  The card after, Guardian, describes the will I “have” to fulfill my need to become the “I AM” card.

The top and final card that was drawn was Compassion.  I was told this is the missing piece to what I need to make it all come together.  I need compassion for myself.  Like most creative types, I am Über-Critical of myself and anything that I am involved with.  I drill it into myself that I am not as good as so and so, or not as talented as so and so.  What I forget is that I am NOT so and so.  And as such can only do what I can do and to know that I am potentially someone else’s “so and so” to which I say, “You, my friend, ARE better than So and So! Now go and show them how good YOU are!”

As my astrological sign begins its rule over the heavens, I look back on these last 9 months and I smile.  And to be honest, I have cried in gratitude as well.  I feel like I have accomplished a lot!  I can feel it in my body.  I wake up tired and achy, but in my heart, I am so happy.

The funny thing of it is, as I look back at the last half of the year, I am thinking to myself “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, folks!”

 

 

The Dragon And The Killing Jar…

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At first, I hadn’t planned on auditioning for the New Play Development Factory.  I was too much of a chicken.

It was totally last minute that I found myself hopping into my car and driving over to the Pear Theatre.

I had NO idea what to expect, let alone who I would be auditioning for.  But SOMETHING in my thought jelly kept saying “ya gotta do this.”

So I waited in the lobby.  I think I was that last one there.

The Factory producer, Jeffery came out to collect the headshot/resume and only gave me one side to read after looking at me.  A side, just in case you are unfamiliar with the term is just another word for a scene or section of a scene.  At first, my head told me the usual, “oh, he only gave you one side and other people got multiples. You are a courtesy audition.”

Finally, when it was my turn to read, I took a deep breath and said “Welp, let’s see what kind of wacky choices you can make with these pages.”  I didn’t care if it was going to make sense.

I was told to look at Mr. De La Cruz for the play The Killing Jar by Jennifer Lynne Roberts.  So that’s what I focused my peepers on.  At first, in the pages that I had, I could see the good nature of the guy. There was no information about where the scene took place, so I placed it in a large building, in the lobby, and the majority of the chatting was happening while the characters were walking down a long empty hallway.  After my first read, they asked me to make it a little more serious.  I was happy do do so.  So I started off upbeat, but then shifted gears after a third of the way through.  I thought I was done after the second read, but then, much to my surprise, they asked me to read one of the other sides.

I didn’t have much time with it, but I feel I made some strong choices that may not have been what they wanted, (I even turned my back to them at one point) but I figured maybe I’ll be weird enough that they would remember me.

After  the audition, I went home and continued work on my role as Daphne for “Sugar.”  I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks.  So I began rehearsals for “9 to 5” and I almost completely forgot about the whole thing.

Then, I got an email.

It was from the director, Heather Noelle Robinson, offering me the part of the guy that I read for the first time.  Well!  I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!  I didn’t think I’d made the cut.

I have been so excited to to participate in the NPDF because it was another new experience.  The idea behind the event was to allow Bay Area Playwrights have their work read to the public three times with the chance for feedback and to adjust the script to fix anything that’s unclear or simply didn’t work.  So we have one rehearsal during the week.  Then we performed the show for an audience.  After, the playwright went and worked on suggestions and would come back during the next week and give us any new scenes or pages or cuts to the script.  Then we’d rehearse the play.  Then repeat the process twice more.

This play is very well constructed and, I feel, clearly shaped with new things being discovered throughout.  Some of the feedback that people have is “feeling like there was no closure with (insert character name here)”  I know it’s just because I have lived with the script for a month, but I know the closures are there.  They are written out.  We spoke the words aloud.  I honestly felt that  feel like this play is ready for production.  I believe in it so much that I find myself wishing I had a theatre company of my own to mount this play.  Hmmmmmmmm….THAT is something to think about….

For now, I have decided to keep all of my pages and all the new ones to see how much it changed during the event.   I cannot wait to see what the finished script looks like.

Congrats on an awesome play, Jennifer!

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Working on this production at the Dragon Theatre was wonderful.  We had a number of helping hands, and I got to see my buddy, Jason more times in those 3 weeks than I have in a year or even two!  Artistic Director, Meredith Hagedorn, said one of the things that she hoped the actors got out of this project was that the Dragon was a great place to work.   Mission Accomplished!   I had fun and I can only hope that one day, I’ll make it into one of their main productions!

I think I was so lucky to work with such an amazing cast.  It was only 5 people but I had so many laughs and was  amazed so many times by these incredible people.  If you are curious about who these people are, here’s the list – Michelle Cabinian, Brian Flegel, Chris Gaoiran and Amber Somerfield.

Here’s to more wonderful projects with more wonderful people just like this.

Thank you, Dragon Theatre for the New Play Development  Factory!

Using New Eyes To See My World…

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The first rule of improv is to always say “Yes.”

Lots of things have been happening at a much quicker pace than I would like for them to do so, BUT I am taking a page from improv for the time being.
I have been given keys to the nursery! Not sure if it’s a promotion, but I have them.
There’s only three weeks before we open WVLO’s 9-5.
Only one more reading for The Killing Jar for New Play Development Factory over at the Dragon Theatre in Redwood City, then THAT ends.

Before I know it, it will be winter and my work on Jesus Christ Superstar must begin.

Keeping this in mind, I have begun to really watch “my world,” be it at the nursery or in rehearsals for any show, with a special emphasis on interactions.
How do people interact with each other? When they are having a conversation, are they REALLY listening? I watch the eyes so see if the mind is already forming things to say which means that the person isn’t fully engaged. I’ve personally experienced this. Where I have been the one that wasn’t fully listening, that is. When I find myself doing that, I try to have the person repeat what was said if it wasn’t too long.

I used the picture above, because in a way I feel sort of detached as I watch people. Being a “people person,” it makes it hard not to want to connect and be a part of everything.

But, I need to practice my watching skills.

However, in doing so, I have found that some of the interactions I witness are saddening.

In my theatre world, I have been taught that when people are working in the room, one must either pay attention (even if you aren’t the one working) or remove yourself from the room as quietly and without disruption. Anything else is disrespectful.

I am always trying to learn something new so I would be the type to pay attention. Should the need to talk to a fellow cast mate arise, either to ask or answer a question, it will always be done in a whisper so as not to disturb the others.

I would like to say that I find it surprising that people don’t seem to understand these little actions of respect for others are important. Weeellll, I suppose when I really think about it, I realize I shouldn’t be. Our digital age has brought us to the period of “Look at Me! Look at Me!” with the advent of youtube and video recording phones.

I guess what I miss seeing is simple manners.

Whatever happened to them?

All I know is that I am watching and I am going to remember come auditions for JCS.