Monday, July 17, 2006

Work Notes

During the last year, I have focused on two things: improving my voice and learning just to 'stay with myself' on stage or in front of a camera. I've made particularly good progress on my voice. 'Staying with myself' is coming along, but slowly, kinda painfully.

In MACBETH, my voice work paid off in spades, save for two or three earlier performances in which I strained and got hoarse. But, my wavering ability to 'stay with myself' also showed. It seems to read in two ways: 1) the audience doesn't feel me connect to other characters and 2) I'm physically stiff.

How do I work on this? First, I need to continue trusting the process I'v engaged in acting class. Second, I need to take on the same kind of physical discipline that I've taken on in voice work. This means dance classes, which for me will be more effective than the kind of 'physical movement' work most focused on in actor training, especially for addressing the sheer 'tension' I carry on stage and into auditions--at least, dance classes are where I need to start (I've been saying that for about a year now, but, since, it took me 20 years to overcome my terror of singing, that may count as minor procrastination.)

Update: Earlier today I wrote to several theater people who saw the show, whom I respect, and who I can trust to know how to talk constructively to me, and asked for their notes on my performance. Their replies have already been enormously useful as I chew on the next year or so of work.

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