I think theater is a powerful way to share new ideas, ask questions about the world, discover who we are as a species and as individuals, and most importantly, to connect with other people. Theater is a wonderful collaboration of so many art forms, from set designing, to costume building, to lighting, and sound designing. The aspect that truly speaks to me, that makes me come alive, and brings purpose to my life, is acting.
I love the homework.I love the research that goes into creating a character. I love journaling about their life, what they do in their free time, what is their relationship to God, what is their favorite drink. I love sitting on the train and daydreaming about my character in different situations in their life. I love the challenge of finding what aspects of my character I can find in myself. I love delving into the text, and finding what drives the character to talk. As Barry Edelstein says “why this word now?” I love the scholarship of it, the longer you analyze and think about a text, the more you find and learn (I didn’t double major in Literary Criticism for nothing!) If I only loved the homework though, I wouldn’t be an actor. I’d be a scholar somewhere; writing papers about plays or teaching.
I love working with a group of people to bring the text to life. Seeing what my scene partners have discovered (and being surprised at what they saw that I didn’t). Having a director shape a performance to make the story come through in the best way for the audience. Just as I learn more about a text and a character the more I read, I learn by getting on my feet and performing. The script is just word on a page until a team starts working on it to create a performance. Yes, the words on a page can be moving, they can teach us all something just by being read - but a script was designed to be performed, to be lived. It’s incredible watching all the elements of a production come together, and seeing how the individual work somehow integrates with everyone else’s personal work to create one, big, body of work. Having a strong background in technical theater I have a deep respect and understanding of the work that goes on to create the set, lighting, sound design, costumes. It’s an incredible feat of many people with different interests and strengths coming together for one goal.
My strengths as an actor lie in delving into the emotional life of a character and living in those moments honestly. The biggest achievement, that I am most proud of, is finding the willingness to experience the hard emotions. Feelings of terror, hopelessness, betrayal, and of being heartbroken or lost are all emotions that we, as humans, try to shield ourselves from. It was a big moment for me when I was able to open myself up to those feelings and be willing to live them on stage. My training in Shakespeare has taught me to honor the word choice and the syntax. This doesn’t only apply to Shakespeare’s works, but to all plays. My ability to analyze the language used creates well thought out and beautifully spoken performances.
I’m always looking for new classes to take, new projects to work on, and new people to collaborate with. My biggest hope is to continue to grow, as an actor and a person; and to continue to find ways to connect with others. I hope to work with you soon!