Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Autumn Agenda

I'm preparing to audition for The Alabama Shakespeare Festival's MFA program. There are a handful of other programs I need to look at, too, but Alabama is at the top of the list, for now, for various reasons, which include stipend, teaching credential, a chance to burrow properly into theatrical literature, experience on the mainstage as well as in student productions, and an Equity card. Next week, I begin working with Jan Powell on monologues.

A few I've already used in audition or performance are:

Caliban
Duke Senior
Banquo
Macbeth
Sonnet 110
Friar Lawrence

I'm beginning work on Malvolio (the verse piece at the end--it's sad.) Jan suggests doing a comic rendition of Orsino. I'm taking suggestions for others, especially from those of you who know me.

One reason I like Malvolio and Orsino: they get me started toward my goal of 'finding my clown,' which Jan thinks is probably a pompous, stuffed-shirt type. I doubt any of my readers would disagree! I certainly don't.

My chances of getting into an MFA program seem slim, but I'm using the work as much as a heuristic exercise--a way of learning about myself as an actor--as a career step, though it's certainly that too.

The whole idea scares me, but, that's a good thing.

I'm also taking Tim True's Audition workshop and Michael Mendelson's Meisner-based Acting Workshop. As you know, these are two of Portland's best, most interesting actors. I can't wait to work with them. Also, the audition class comes none too soon. I'm losing some roles that I probably shouldn't be.

One sign lately that I'm on the right track, in general: I'm losing my interest in 'finding affirmation' (it's not gone, just more in balance) and, more than ever, just want to get to work. That must bode well.

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