Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Risk-taking and Bravery

I'm on Week 2 of Karen Kohlhaas' Monologue Audition Class and we're moving from being "outside" the monologue (taking care of all the work your own "internal director" wants you to do during an audition) into the excitement of getting "inside" the acting of the piece. It's really exhilirating stuff, and I've been enjoying the homework. It makes me feel like I finally have the tools to take care of the technical aspects of an audition beforehand and then really enjoy it once I get in there.

Karen took us through a bunch of steps last week in class and it was fascinating to experience. Now this week all 8 of us in class will show the monologues we've been working on, and I tell ya, I'm excited to see what we all bring to the table.

I don't think I've ever run the lines of a monologue as much as I have for this class. Sure, I have 2 standard monologues memorized for auditions, but because they were done without these new tools I've acquired, they felt stale and flat and without a sense of direction. Sometimes I would hit the right emotion in an audition, because of where I was at that day, but now I feel like I can truly back myself up every time! It's like before I would be able to pull out A color to show during a piece, but now I feel like I've got a whole rainbow in my pocket, just waiting to come out. That is thrilling!Something yummy I also learned was about one of my favorite actors, Sir Anthony Hopkins, who reportedly runs his lines 200 times until "there is no more distinction between the actor and the words – he is what he has to say, and it comes out of him as effortlessly as if he were actually that character." There is no need to "embellish or push when he acts." And there are times I've hit that mode, but it can be so happenstance.

To be able to demystify the process and still respect it and enjoy it... I have truly found that this week with just drilling and drilling my monologue every chance I can get. Have I done it 200 times? Nope, not yet, but I'm working on it. :)

This next class focuses on the acting of the piece, on risk-taking and bravery while "acting on the character's behalf." Anyone who has done public speaking knows what a wild thing it is to get up in front of a group and speak. I thought about that yesterday with Barack Obama speaking his inaugural address to the huge crowd in front of the Capitol. He also spoke about risk-taking and bravery. And I know it might sound wild to compare my little class to the work of the now president of the United States. But it takes dedication to pursue one's dreams, and there is hard work, and there is a sense of absolutely taking risks in putting oneself out there to make your dreams come true.
I think of all my friends who choose to live fully, to take the road less traveled. I believe we all do the best we can every day. And we do it with guts and gusto. Some days require more risks and bravery than others, and actually, that's one of the things I love about auditioning - the challenging risk-factor. It can be scary as ever, and almost every award-winning actor remarks on the terror of auditioning. But now I have the tools to climb that mountain, and I am THRILLED.

No comments: