One of the biggest challenges of grad training is learning to work with people who not only have different and conflicting temperaments, but who react to stress in very different ways. The atmosphere can be volatile, or oppressive, though 'volatile' is probably better for doing good acting, since 'oppressive' can lead to squashed instincts. I don't care much for either, even when I've done more than my part in creating and sustaining both, at different points.
I had an enormously positive summer. My seven-week contract in Oklahoma grounded me and boosted my confidence on stage. I made a couple of new friends and future collaborators. My visits to Lake Tahoe and to Portland reminded me, in spades, that I have good friends, supportive colleagues, and more eager, future collaborators, back home. Back in Houston, I need to move through and beyond the more difficult moments in my learning experience here, and embrace what is to come, without looking back at what is most definitely past.
One area of very positive and new development in Houston: local theater artists whom I respect have begun to contact me about current and future work, which is exciting. Tomorrow, I'm taking part in a living room reading of a new play by a local playwright, and I'm looking forward to hanging out with him and his colleagues. So, there are signs that the coming year in Houston may be less claustrophobic than the last year could sometimes be.
Another positive sign of things to come: from all accounts, each and all of my classmates had a good summer, full of productive and confidence-inspiring work. A good way to begin the fall term.