Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back to it

In the swing of rehearsal, prepping for the next live theatrical production. It should be something interesting. It'll be a mobile type of venture where the audience will walk around the outdoor grounds of a museum and watch a bunch of adults play children. Children trapped in a fantasy world. Against their will. It's not really a kid friendly thing, but I don't see why children wouldn't get something out of it. Just no crying, please.

I guess it's just me not having had the academic theater background as my contemporaries, so I still get a little freaked out by some of the warm ups and group work we're asked to do. I'll go along with it. I mean, what do I know, right? I do however, have those few minutes where my brain says, “Excuse me, what? I am to stand here and just wait for this group to synch brains?” Then I let it go. It's an exercise. Lord knows I could use the exercise in patience and listening. Awareness of others isn't a bad thing, either.

It's just good to be around folks who are willing to play and explore. It makes me feel all creative-like and willing to push a little farther out of my comfort zone. It really does make me feel like a kid again, and not just because I'm supposed to be a child. For three hours I can focus on this one thing and not be completely plagued by my worries and my other commitments.

Speaking of which, I guess I'm at the point where my commitments are going to collide. I've already been lectured once about commitment this week. I have to prioritize. And I am. I still don't have the steady day job thing, so I won't turn down freelance opportunities, or booked jobs, because of my non-paying commitments. And for the record, I don't consider $40 for 3 months of rehearsal and performance paid work. That's just reimbursement for gas. Sorry. It may be hard for those folks to hear, but I can't repeat my mistake from the summer.

Full disclosure (This is so painful. More painful than my botched audition for Marc Webb.): I was in a theater production this past summer and booked a NATIONAL commercial scheduled to film the opening weekend, so I then lost the booking. Gone. Like that. S-T-U-P-I-D. I still haven't let that go and it haunts me. A few months later, I had the pleasure of auditioning with the young lady who I handed that job to. Lovely. Not awkward for me AT ALL.

I had to make a quick decision and I feel I made the wrong one. The beauty of hindsight – I could have made it work, but I didn't entertain the thought. I'm just hoping for patience, a bit of luck and it won't have to come to something like that ever again. Art and money are mutually exclusive for actors in regional, non-Broadway theater. I'm an actor and I need to an income doing so. Rejecting paid work I've earned isn't smart business. Duh.

I realize this may be an unpopular opinion, especially among my theater friends, but that's my reality. Art is art, but business is money and I have a mortgage, a car payment and an over-worked husband. So far, I'm managing and I don't want to be unkind or difficult. I'll make as many accommodations as I can. I don't want to let people down, but it won't come at the expense of me losing work … I hope.

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