Monday, February 8, 2010
So yesterday I spent a cold, rainy, lazy afternoon under a fuzzy santa blanket and drinking mulled wine while doing some pretty serious thinking and talking with a good friend. I was *supposed* to be writing a letter of intent to get into the MFA part of the program I'm currently attending.
Instead, I talked it out, and I'm not going back next year. I'm moving to New York City this summer.
I know, it's crazy. I get that - but I also get that it's what I need to do for myself. I feel very stalled here - in most, if not all aspects of my life.
I've directed one full length show this year, and one one-act this summer... anyone who's known me for more than a year wanna tell me when the last year i had that was *that* slow was?
I can't really get the number of TPR students I need to get ahead on my bills, it's just to slow down here.
I miss towns that don't close at 8p.
Let's not even go into my love life... or rather, some of the rather poor descions I have made in the last year, decisions of what I thought was ok then.
The thing is, the truth is, I don't think I even knew how much of myself I had lost until this week. And now I've found myself again, and I remember the power of theatre, and the passion and the fire that makes me love it and crave it and yearn for it and not feel complete without it.
And I've made this crazy decisions, and I feel lighter, and happy, and more like myself than I have in I don't know how long. I'm talking like myself and thinking like myself, and being honest with myself and others like myself. One of my ex's with whom I am still friends once told me that the reason he could still be friends with me was bc I told him the truth, always. And somewhere in the last little while, i settled and started accepting things that the girl that I actually am, the one who really knows herself, would never have settled for - and i've stopped settling.
And that starts with NYC. See, I was always a little afraid to go there, bc I was afraid I would love it too much. And I was right. I love the reality of it. The feel of the cement block after block. The vitality of millions of ppl living their lives. And I love the art.
Part of the reason I could make this decision was a very nice man who sold me some earrings in Bryant Park. He was running my card (before it was stolen ;) ) and making small talk with me and Joe and asked us what we did. I told him I was a director and his first question was "Film or theatre?" I know this sounds crazy, but it was like I let out a breath I hadn't even known I was holding. It was the first time, outside of the small theatre community in Houston, that I hadn't had to explain that I don't want to do film or tv - that there was a difference - and what my job actually was. And something in that moment felt like coming home.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I couldn't write my personal statement, I couldn't interview for my MFA bc I don't want to know. I want to go and live my life and fly or fail or whatever I'm gonna do, but I want to do it. I want to try. No, I HAVE to try. I found my drive again this week - the drive that I used to see so clearly, the one that made my mom say "I always knew I would lose you to theatre, I just wish it wasn't so far away".
I have to go, and I have to this summer, because I think my soul is dying here. I started this endeavor because I thought I loved school - here's what's I've learned:
I don't love school - I love the work. I love the hands down nitty gritty get in and make descions and work with ppl work - make a choice, raise the stakes, take a chance, if you're gonna fail - fail big work. I want that back.
I learned that getting that back is way more important to me than some letters behind my name ever would or could be. I learned that if i go back to school, it will be on my terms, and not anyone elses. No more settling. No more running.
I sat in the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, and watched a musical that is a very real reason I was even able to make it out of bed a few years ago - a musical about taking a stand, changing the world and following your heart.
I'm making my stand, here, now. I'm moving. I'm changing my world and following my heart. I"m following my siren's song into the great unknown and I couldn't be happier.
So, this also means that I'm gonna need contacts when I get there... who's in?
This started out my desire to blog.
This started off as a speech to give my cast at the read through for All's Well That Ends Well (which I did) but I decided to put it here and expand on it. :) I highly suggest all my artist friends sit down and do this - it's amazing to put it in words and formalize thinking :)
I believe that acting is the art of behaving truthfully in imaginary circumstances. As a director, I will never ask you to do anything more, although I may ask you to behave truthfully a little louder or a little faster.
I believe that the truth of all theatre is found in relationships - the relationship between the actor and the character, the relationship between character and character, the relationship between character and audience, and the relationship between actor and audience.
I believe the art of all theatre is truthfully telling the story through these relationships. I believe that my job as director is to create a safe place to build and explore these relationships. I believe the key to doing this involves the word play - even when it gets rough, it is still what we love.
I believe that the truth of storytelling requires knowing what you are saying and why you are saying it every moment and in every word. I believe that then and only then can we build a truthful relationship with the audience.
I believe that poetry, rhetoric and verse give us clues to find these truths, but they are not the full story.
I believe that theatre can change the world. I believe that we are living historians who have a need, a desire, and a right to show the world what it is, what it could be, what beauty is, what ugliness is, what the universal truths of our generation are, what past generations were, and what future generations will be.
And finally I believe that we have the best job in the world. I believe that we are here because we share a joy, love and passion for this work and that joy, love and passion will only help strengthen all of these relationships.