Tag Archives: theatre of note

“Sacrifice is Pain”

27 Oct

Week 2 of the incredible play I’m in, Skeleton Stories, involved more than the usual blood, sweat and tears required of this show. Typically, any blood I experience, extract, or drink is, of course, fake! Ah, the magic of theater. But, half way into the second act of the play, during the emotional peak of my character Maya’s journey, I step on a shard of glass. Ow.

The sharp pain was followed by that out-of-body experience all actors dread, where suddenly, you are you outside looking in. No longer in the character. All I could think about was how the next big scene was a crazy dance number… on a bloody foot. But what am I going to do? Go “Hold the show! There’s something in my foot!” Don’t think so. You make a little sacrifice. You work that much harder to concentrate, stay in it, deliver the best performance you’ve ever given. Why? Because this is what you LOVE to do. This is why you are here, glass shards and all.

Since then, I’ve added to my sacrifices: black and blue knees, sore arms and scabbed back (though I’ve done this show a million times, I somehow underestimated how long the altar was and got up too soon, only to bang my back on the wood frame). Just last weekend, the slightest blocking change caused a shiny black dress shoe to bang full force right into my shin. Once again, definitely had that outer-body experience but quickly reeled myself in to stay in the moment. And, as cheesy as it sounds, “used it”.

As Maya’s ancestor says, “Sacrifice is Pain… Sacrifice is a gift… Sacrifice is love.”

Triple Threat

22 Sep

Not the Triple Threat you’d normally think. I don’t mean the magical trio of performing talents: Dancer, Singer, Actor… I’m talking about the other side of the coin: Producer, Director, Writer. In other words, why my life this month has had be so busy I don’t know what day it is.

Pursuing a career in acting is not straight forward. I’m sure if you’re like me and following this path you know that there are a million forks in the road. And that’s a good thing. There is not one way to reach that pot of gold. There are a million. So much of this career is about taking every opportunity presented to you. It is about exploring the different facets of your selected profession. Yes, my initial intent is and always will be to become a Working Actor. Acting, above all, is my passion. And I used to be the kind of actor that immediately shook my head to any talk of writing, directing or producing of my own work. “No,” I’d say, naively at the time, “I’m an actor. I’m not a producer or director and I have no desire to write.”

Well, I was wrong. Fortunately, I figured that out pretty quickly. I am a better actor because I write/produce/direct. And I have a much greater respect for the team it takes to create the art that as an actor I am fortunate enough to just step into.

As a producer, I have learned how to be patient and how to hustle. As a writer, I’ve improved my skills to break down a script, a scene, a character. As a director, I’ve learned to be creative and open when need be and I’ve learned to be precise and decisive when the occasion arises. All of these skills have fostered my growth as an actor– both the actual acting and the career.

This month has been a crash course in these skills, as I have written an original script from the stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe, I am directing the fall high school production of my original show “Once Upon a Midnight Dreary, I am producing a full-length post-apocolyptic drama called “The Position” for PianoFight and I am acting in a world premiere play about a young girl in search of her mother called Skeleton Stories at Theatre of NOTE.

And guess what? All three shows are in October! Hence, September inSanity!

Racially Blind Casting… or, not?

26 Jul

As a Japanese- Hungarian-Irish woman who type casts as Mexican, I am so very torn on the issue of ethnically-specific casting versus blind casting.

I think, in terms of the bigger picture, if a theater company wants to expand and diversify their membership, then perhaps ethnic characters are a good way to do that. If the play calls for ethnically specific roles, which our group cannot satisfy, then it is a perfect opportunity to reach out to a theater community who might not be as aware of our company.

But that means I can’t play the Mexican. And that is almost all I play.

Read full post here at the Diversity at NOTE blog

Is Rehearsing All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

16 Mar

I’m rehearsing for two different one-acts for two different shows.  One’s a comedy, the other’s a drama. They both open within about a week from each other.

It’s been really interesting working on these two opposing pieces with two opposing rehearsal processes. The comedy opens later, but began rehearsals earlier and the drama opens sooner but began rehearsals later. So basically one feels well worked on and the other, more or less thrown together. The cool thing about a shorter rehearsal process is it forces you into gear. No chance to procrastinate, no chance to worry about memorizing lines. You just have to figure it out. You have no choice. This immediacy also informs the performance. It gets you out of your head, which works out nicely because I typically get more in my head with dramas anyway. It puts you more in the moment. No time to really second guess your choices.

Of course, I’d prefer a longer rehearsal process. A decent amount of time to prepare, but there is something to gain from the thrown together shows. I never thought I’d say that, but got used to it with my theater company up North. It’s how things have been run up there for the most part. But now we are finally, slowly, steering away from that towards a planned out rehearsal process.  Much like that of the comedic one-act I’m doing. It’s been really fun having all the time I need with a comedic piece because I usually don’t get a chance to work on comedies. Those are the ones that are almost always put together last minute. I’ve always been of the belief that comedy comes out of playing out the ridiculous situation with all sincerity and reality.  Diving in to this “out there” comedy, the characters, the background, etc. has made my performance and the piece a lot stronger.

Ideally, yes, more rehearsals is best. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive experience and learn a thing or two with just a couple of run throughs.