Oooooooooo, this is a tough week for self-doubt. I'm full of it (though you knew that). If the weather were not so, so beautiful, and I were not dating, and if I didn't have friends who are coming to MY birthday party tomorrow night, and if I were still fat--if any of that stuff and more--I'd be a wreck. I'm letting myself take in the notes on my Banquo for which I asked, and that's been hard, but good for me. I'm not happy with my audition performances this week--three of them, at least--and I did not represent myself as 'professionally' as I would have liked, in a meeting with agents yesterday. But, oh, well. It could be worse. A. Lot. Worse.
Anyways. This week, I'm well served to remember the progress I've made in the last 12-18 months. I'm not quite up to the level I need to be for these auditions, maybe, but a year ago there was NO question that I didn't belong in the room; at least now, I'm in striking distance. One experience I had last year gives me the illusion of being more experienced than I am: my month at Shakespeare & Company--which, I believe, is the one thing on my resume that's getting me these auditions (that, and my head shot.)--but I need to remember that was only the BEGINNING of my work in finding my way to 'staying with myself' on stage.
One prominant theme in the notes on my performance on Macbeth is that, on the one hand, I'm way more "present" on stage than I was a year ago--I have stage presence and I definitely "fill" the stage, as is being said--but, on the other, I'm still not "inviting my audience in;" I'm not yet "allowing [yourself] to seduce the audience" with my own, natural "charisma," with "more David." I think this is exactly true. I still think that the way in and under this is to loosen up my physicality, start moving from the hips and shoulders--find different body centers--and continue to keep my attention gently on the resistance I feel to--the fear I have in--exposing myself on stage; resistance made stronger by a potent PTSD reaction that I still have from surviving intense physical abuse as a kid (e.g., I 'leave my body' quickly when I feel threatened with humiliation, which can happen on a dime... it's a fascinating thing to experience, actually, when I'm atuned enough to be aware of it happening.)
Other people may be seeking 'out of body' experiences. I like to be 'in' my body.
p.s. Another thing I'm struggling with: this blog. During the run of Macbeth, I found that two or three of my cast mates felt confused by it; couldn't understand it's purpose (I've alluded to this in posts below.) I'm wondering if I'm putting too much of myself out there; I think that this blog demonstrates a mode of inquiry into self and art that some readers don't quite grasp. It's easy to mistake for mere confessional. Readers who have more experience with narrative nonfiction--e.g., biographies, personal essays, philosophical confessions--certainly get it, but they're not necessarily in the majority. If too many of my readers--especially those working in Portland theater--don't intuit the ironic distance* between my journalistic, sometimes literary, narrative and me as a person out there on the street, they're apt to fear that the passions--the fears and hopes and personal dramas--I articulate here, are either going to show up on the set, or reveal what's already going on, on the set.... Actually, now that I think about it, this later fear may be well founded. My writing has, indeed, reflected both the suble and not-so-subtle interpersonal dynamics and issues around artistic process that my colleagues experience, as well as I. I may have to trim my sails on this blog a bit, so as not to threaten others, or rather, not to invade their privacy, at least implicity.
*By ironic distance, I mean something like the irony of Shakespearean character action, in which characters are both observing themselves from a cool remove outside their emotions and acting with unfettered passion at the same time, very Pirandello before Pirandello; also, very true about the nature of passion. If passion = emotion + intelligence, then passion, per se, has an ironic quality.