An Actor’s Life for Me?

Hello again! Well, we’re down to the

FINAL COUNTDOWN!

     That’s right, less than 24 hours from now I’ll be squished in a tight metal cylinder flying at terrifying heights. Oh joy, oh joy. Before I go, I’d like to write about my history in theatre and my experiences thus far. Not to brag, but technically my first stage role was the baby pauper in The Prince and the Pauper at only two months old. Preettyyyy impressive, I would say.  Ever since that day Julliard has been simply hounding me to attend their school-hah, yeah right!  I was never that home schooled kid who gets to be in every show because they have such an open schedule- I know, I know, life can be so unfair sometimes! I was more of the “grassroots” actor growing up, i.e., performing Peter Pan in the backyard every single day.

I performed in shows throughout middle and high school, notably playing mostly men and old women. Fortunately or not, these habits have not changed so far in my college acting career. Finally my senior year of high school I played Maria in West Side Story-here it was, my big shot! I was…o.k., and that’s o.k.! I’m extremely thankful for the experience. I remember an assistant director telling me that I had a very “musical theatre” style of comedy, at the time I didn’t really know what that was, but boy did that make me mad. I also directed, produced, and performed in Richard Kinter’s, Li’l Red, the musical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Li’l Red was my senior project, and I had so much fun putting together a show with a group of friends willing to endure my lack of directing, producing, or designing skills. The playwright has since passed, but I urge all to look up his other fantastic children’s shows!

The summer before my ninth grade year I attended American Shakespeare Center’s Theatre Camp (or YCTC, now known as ASCTC). In sixth grade I had played Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (what? A girl?!), but Shakespeare still seemed kind of boring and…Shakespeare-y to me. In only three weeks campers put on an hour-length Shakespeare (or a related playwright) play while also taking workshops, attending lectures, and somehow having time to make friends. Crazy, just wild I tell you! I spent three summers at this, let’s admit it, nerdy camp. I cherished every moment of it. Some people may think that I know “too much for my age” about Shakespeare, but compared to some of my fellow campers or counselors, my knowledge is minuscule. In those three summers I played an extremely masculine Duchess of York (Richard the III), the deluded King Leontes (The Winter’s Tale), and the extremely exhausted John of Gaunt (Richard the II). My heart is filled with so much fondness for this camp, and to wrap it up I shall say-ENJOY DEATH! (Inside joke, sorry.)

      “Yikes, how long is this gal gonna rail about herself? Why dontcha write a memoir already, huh?”

     Okay, okay, I’ll wrap it up. Geez! In my two years at Catawba College I have studied Stanislovsky, Alexander Technique, Fitzmaurice technique, Commedia dell’arte, Meisner technique, and more from the “Acting 101 for Americans.”  This might be crushing to my professors who are reading this (right, guys?), but I promise I remember more, I’m just summarizing for the folks at home reading this. As an actor I know that I get stuck in my head too much, which some professors have pointed out in…colorful ways.  I have been fortunate enough to have been cast every semester, and lucky enough to work with some very fine casts and directors. From the coast of Wales (Under Milkwood) to a small town in Germany (Woyzeck), my college acting experiences have all been extremely educational and challenging.

As I look forward toward this new adventure, I am reminded of Mary from On the Verge, the show I was rehearsing this time last year. Mary was constantly speaking of looking forward and holding great expectations for what the future would hold. I may not be time travelling, but I am embarking on a new and exciting journey.

“I stand on the precipice. The air is rare. Bracing. Before me stretch dark distances. Clusters of light. What next? I have no idea. Many mysteries to come. I am on the verge. I have such a yearning for the future! Is it boundless!”

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