Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Acting Intuitively

You know when you get that gut impulse? It's like your body takes over, and your mind is practically relegated to the backseat while your body and intuition drive you forward.

This happened to me last week. There was an audition for Elf the Musical (based on the Will Farrell movie), and I seesawed about going to the audition, because there was a ton on my plate as it was. I was wrapping up 2 classes, had a callback, was juggling other auditions and working a fulltime job.

Yup, that's one of the harsh realities of making it as an actor. You have to pay bills whether or not you have an acting gig, and while I've been fortunate to get paid acting work this year, I still have to make ends meet with other work. A lot of actors do! They wait tables, temp, work for cleaning companies...

I'm fortunate to work for an online advertising company that is very friendly to the arts. They have worked around my rehearsals, shows and out of town engagements. They're also great about working around my daily auditions, callbacks, agent meetings, etc. Heck! They even made my show Kaboom at the Cherry Lane Theatre part of their office scavenger hunt last summer.

So my daily routine goes like this: Get up, go sign up for an audition, go to the office, work for a few hours, then head out to an audition studio and do my acting work there. After that I head back to the office, do some office work, and then head out to a class, workshop, or performance. So it's a lot of running around! And in a NY minute there's often a feeling that you're constantly running. It's rare that we get a moment to stop and breathe, so we schedule time for that!

That's one of the things I loved about Karen Kohlhaas' Fearless Cold Reading and Audition Technique Class. A really important lesson in that class was learning to take time and take care of ourselves as artists and really nurture our mental attitude towards ourselves and the audition process.

This takes me back to the Elf audition last week. I didn't think I'd have time for it, and isn't that insane? I have the GIFT of being able to audition for Broadway shows every day! Isn't that amazing??? So while I sat at my desk, working on online advertising, I kept going back to the audition posting in my head, and before I knew it, my body got up out of the chair. I picked up my music book and bag, and got on the subway to go to the audition.

I walked right in, smiling all the way. And don't you know that I got an audition appointment immediately! I went in and had a BLAST, doing what I love to do, and the casting person went from a state of relaxed boredom to absolute physical engagement. It was cool to see that. I really love when people sit up and take notice of my work.

So I'm continuing to hit as many auditions as possible and just get out of my own way! :) It's worth it! I can't overthink any of this. I have to just GO!

And in the midst of auditions, I've had some fun projects arise.

On Monday I performed in a reading of a new musical, Argentina Rumpus, playing a nun on the run (with a gun)! Bryan D. Leys, the writer for Hell's Belles, asked me to take part in it, and it was A LOT of fun!

Also this week I heard from my Kaboom writer, Michael Small, who asked if I was available for a reading of a new play in September. I read one of the scenes and it's really meaty stuff. Mmm!

I feel like a kid on a rollercoaster, putting my hands in the air, and letting go to enjoy the ride. Wheee!

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