Thursday, January 24, 2013

Want Vs. Need

Hey Abyss,

The title of tonight's entry is a question that is constantly percolating in my mind for all kinds of situations. But since this blog is about my journey as an artist that's what I will focus on. Recently I have been getting restless at school, not because I am unhappy (because I am thrilled to be here), just in the fact that I see these opportunities for jobs or connections with people that I cannot act upon due to my circumstances of being at school for another year and a half.

I am the least patient person in the to my grandfather.

We are meeting so many talented people at the school and it makes me excited to get out and work, and have the opportunities to put what I am learning into action. To work with these people in a professional setting rather than educational (not that I don't like the educational aspect, I just want to collaborate outside of school as well). And to continue to shake hands with people that could open new doors for me as a young actor.

As well as being impatient I am very driven to accomplish what I want, and so the combination of those two things can be deadly sometimes. I start to become obsessed with the ideas of what I could be doing rather than what I am doing.

Not beneficial.

Talking about this to my girlfriend she ensured me that things will happen when they will, and to get stressed about things that aren't an option right now is just wasted energy. And she is right. I need to learn how to commit myself to one thing at a time rather than focusing on all the things I could be doing. So needless to say I am going to try and put this into effect over the next little bit.

Work with Lazlo has continued to satisfy and frustrate me at the same time. He is a brilliant teacher and knows what he wants from us as actors and demands it. As silly, or as obvious as it may seem; Acting is hard work. Its not just memorizing lines and knowing your cues or where to stand, although those are all crucial things. There is so much more to acting, it is about telling a story for the first time to people who have never heard it before that show. It is living the reality of the situations that the text is providing. By bringing yourself to the text, being you in the words. How you deal with the situations that unfold. And the authenticity of those emotions.

You don't see great actors act, you see them live.

Perhaps these aforementioned ideas seem rudimentary, but when you do these things to your full capability you are exhausted. And ultimately fulfilled. Lazlo has been a huge encouragement and cement layer in my ideals as an actor over these last three weeks. The experience has been truly unforgettable.

I went to see a university production of The Glass Menagerie tonight, which is one of my favourite plays and it reminded me of how many people enjoy acting. And how society can put the people who like to act in plays and musicals and the people who are professionally trained/working actors into the same category. I think this is wrong. Just because you like to act does not mean you are a pro. Just as me saying, "Well I have nursed a bird back to health, thus I am a vet.." its not valid. I think everyone is allowed their hobbies of choice and if yours is to act and sing then power to you, mine is to heal birds, but you and I should not be put on the same measuring scale for grants. Comprende?

Yours is for fun, mine is for food.

I am not directing this towards the actors in the show, I know they weren't claiming that they were pros, just upon leaving the show these thoughts entered my mind.

Monday we start The Seagull, so I am going to get some homework in tonight.

Left with the questions: What do I want? What do I need?

I'm still undecided.

What I am sure about is how I spent the best 4 dollars of my life on a Simon & Garfunkel vinyl tonight.

Night Abyss.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gos-Wiig Week

Hey Abyss,

This week has been an interesting one, as it always seems to be.

The theme of my life: interesting. 

I need to find less stale and more enticing words to preface my entires.


This week I have been inspired by Kristen Wiig and the Gos, as per usual. The unusual one, the operative word being unusual, is Andy Kaufman. You see, my parents bought me the first season of Saturday Night Live for Christmas and I have, clearly, been watching it. Andy Kaufman was a guest star for a little bit at the beginning of the show and he really interested me and so I started to search around and read about him a bit. He was an interesting, er, fascinating guy. I watched the Golden Globe winning film Man on the Moon with Jim Carey about Mr. Kaufman's life last night and was so engrossed with the career this guy had. Truly remarkable. It's a shame that he died so young.

I was telling my girlfriend today, before I went to see Gangster Squad tonight (which I enjoyed very much), that I have these 6 people in my life that consistently inspire me but the limelight fluctuates each week; Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling and Kristen Wiig. I truly admire them all so much as not only actors but what images and associated art accompanies them.  I feel that they embody everything that I want to be as a person and an artist.

My class and I have been working with the world renowned director Lazlo Marton (ászló_Marton_(director)) this week and will continue for the next two. I have been truly enlightened by him, he is so remarkable and I walk away from the class being both frustrated and knowing what I need to do. He is very much about teaching us how to be prepared actors for our futures and how we can develop our minds by ourselves and the questions and practices we should be integrating into our daily work as actors.

He is teaching us how to be prepared for rehearsal and to use our own experiences and emotions to fuel our individual interpretations of characters. His broken english almost provides more clarity in situations because of the blunt nature that it spoken. He is such a kind man and only wants the best for us as young performers and I feel truly honoured to be working with someone who is humble enough to come and bestow his knowledge on us.

Someone said to me once that, " To become a better artist, you need to surround yourself with inspiring art..." or something like that. And I have truly been enjoying just that, no matter how simple it is. I get such gratification out of seeing and listening to things that I enjoy, which seems obvious, and on some level I grow from them into a more self directed artist and that is a really wonderful feeling.

This last week has provided me with many epiphanies and I am just revelling in them.

Night Abyss.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Forward into the New Year!

Hey Abyss,

I am back from a wonderful and much needed vacation. I learned to never underestimate the feeling of simplicity.

If there was one thing that I am coming back with from my break it is that.

I am normally a pretty self-stressed person and find that I usually pass by the things that I truly enjoy for things that I think need to be done, such as watching a TV show or listening to an album that makes me happy. Speaking of TV shows I am currently watching American Horror Story: Asylum and Mad Men.

I received the first season of Mad Men for Christmas and am throughly enjoying it, which doesn't come as much of a surprise since 3.54 million viewers also share that opinion.

School starts back up on the 8th, but I am presenting some more work on my Solo Show on the 6th to Adam Lazarus and Jodi Essery. I am looking forward to making some more headway with the character I am working on. So far most of my "work" on the piece has been character development, specifically over the last few days. I have spent way too much money on it so far, so here is hoping that something good comes out of our meeting on Sunday.

Other than research and watching TV, not a whole lot has happened since my return to Montreal.

But there is nothing wrong with that.

I am looking forward to what lies ahead for me in 2013. I feel truly blessed for the amazing year that was 2012. My family and friends have honestly been a wonderful source of support throughout the year.

Over the break I had the opportunity to go back to my high school and talk to some of the students in Grade 11 Drama, it was a really wonderful experience to see the desire in some of their faces. I hope that I was able to provide them with valuable information. I really wanted to encourage them to do what they loved and not be trapped in the walls of the small town that we come from. My home town is what is making me the artist that I am becoming, but it is easy to get trapped there and not look outward for the things you love.

I have a few resolutions for myself this year, and I want to work hard on making them a reality rather than another list that is shoved to the back of a desk drawer. I am also going to work really hard this semester on cementing a process for myself with script work. I feel as an artist the process is continually changing, but I want to have some staple things that I always do with the script I am working on at the time.

When we get back we are working for three weeks with Lazlo Martin on Three Sisters, specifically working particular scenes from the play rather than the whole piece. Then we head into rehearsal for The Seagull with Tanja Jacobs. I have been cast as Shamraev (for those of you who know the play that will mean something haha), it is a smaller role but I plan to make the best of it. I am looking forward to being in rehearsal again. I like the process of working towards a larger product.

Anyway, it is getting late so I am heading to bed.

Night Abyss.