Yesterday, I ran a few monologues by Suzy Vitello, a good friend, and a fine writer, who knows my talents and weaknesses equally well (a fine story by her was recently published in "The Mississippi Review.") She's become one of my favorite sets of eyes for new material. I know I have her committed support, which allows her a degree of honesty with me that not everyone is capable of, as well as her good judgment and taste. Jolly good.
It went horribly yesterday, thou. After my experience with Shakespeare & Company, I want so god-damned much to be a better actor! But, I'm the same actor as I was before. There were no miracle cures for the nervous habits that overwhelm me when I'm scared. I still lean forward, freeze from the neck down, see myself from the outside, stop breathing, and, all in all, disconnect from my body. I have to work hard to stay out of my frigg'n head and ground myself. Harder than I think I'm capable of doing, at times. Arg.
Damn. I wanted to go into the PATA audition with a sense of.... Aw, I don't know... just plain "better," maybe? Well, balls. I'm going to have to give that up. Anyways, that's how it's always worked in the past--that is, most occasions of my success have come only after I've accepted failure.
I'm unsure of what monologues to do for PATA. I've decided I need a contemporary piece, so I'm doing a "serio-comic" bit from "Glengarry Glen Ross." It's a piece I want to keep simple, delivering it with more truth than flourish. For a piece to contrast with it, I need to choose from Caliban, Friar Lawrence, or Sonnet 110. Caliban disconnects me too much. I don't feel confident about Friar Lawrence (I'm having a hard time placing Romeo, spacially). And I'm most comfortable with Sonnet 110. It seems to connect me to myself. I believe the piece. I worry, though, that a poem is simply... too safe.
(I played it safe last year, resulting in a tepid, mediocre performance. Despite that, I'm tempted to play it safe again. The dangerous thing to do would be to do Friar Lawrence, despite how crudely I feel that I do it. Frig. I'm taking suggestions.)
Okay: all of this is where I go at my most insecure and miserable and it's the part of the process that I hate, almost as much as I hate learning lines, (which is one reason I like having Suzy around. She knows what this is all about in me.) It's this insecurity and misery that I've always run from in the past--it kept me from being a writer, for one thing--and, at the very least, I'm not running from it, now. Or rather, I'm not quitting (I AM running in circles.) As I've said before, acting is my Alamo, even though--and perhaps because--I will never be a great actor (writing will always be my missed calling.)
Please excuse the rambling nature of this post. It reflects my scattered thoughts and discombobulation, all that blocked chi.