Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's only a bloody tampon

Sorry I've been awful at updating - these past few weeks have been more insane than I care to discuss right now. I will write up about my effective memory exercize from this Thursday and the unspeakable challenge of pulling Mary Tyrone out of a hat, but give me a few days until I memorize the last of Othello. Then I can breathe again.

Until then, theatre as a vessel of controversy.

It certainly makes you think about society at large - and this was in the UK; imagine that going down in some rural US theatre.

And I'm very excited that my Desdemona gets a little visual spunk - a redheaded Desdemona will be fun. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Now that is a theatre.

Far from classic grandeur, which is my personal favourite, but this theatre is just so damn awesome I had to share it. The Melbourne Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, I'll have to assume (because we'd never do something that cool for the arts here in the US), and it is one hell of a theatre. Check it.

Shared from ThisBlogRules.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I feel like I've blogged this topic before, but I must not have, because I checked a moment ago. Oh well.

At callbacks the other evening I was given a compliment from a friend of mine who was watching. She said I'd done so well reading that scene and that when I was up there I had "just... so much presence up there!" And I was thinking about it last night and that could be one of the highest forms of praise an actor can recieve. I'll tell you why.

Presence is hard to define, because it embodies so much that is intangible. People can have presence without being actors or artists of any kind - animals can have presence, everyday people can have presence. Someone who commands attention without trying, without knowing they're doing so.

From Anna Deavere Smith's Letters to a Young Artist:

"I agree presence is that feeling that the person onstage or in a film is standing right next to you. In film the presence blasts across the screen. Presence defies the limits of a person's body defies the limits of the actual space it takes up."

"Presence means you hold your own space, control the space around you, and sometimes welcome others into it."

About Laura Hutton, the first supermodel: "Her presence was the intensity of her gaze - not the expectation that others would be gazing at her."

"Real presence is the feeling that the person onstage is right next to you because you long to have them there. Or because you are terrified that they could come after you and get you in your seat. Monsters have presence. Godzilla had presence. Terrorists have presence. Osama bin Laden has presence.
Presence doesn't have to do with likability. Nor does being a provocateur guarantee presence."

"Presence can be magical. It can delight the people around you. Think of when you were a kid, and you had a favorite friend, or a favorite relative - something enchanted you - presence is enchanting. And it does not always have to do with what a person actually is. It is what you wish they were. There is myth in presence. This works for that which we wish embrace us, and it is the same fro that which we fear. There is magic in fear ... Presence is having a hold on the desires and fears of those around you."

"Presence requires being aware. Presence requires paying attention. Presence requires using your intelligence. Presence requires allowing others to make an impact on you. This means putting your mind on them, not just on yourself."

"Presence will probably, in the near future, be based on absolute authenticity. Whoever can achieve that in a world of brands, and seductions, and false promises, and addictions to false loves, will truly be charismatic."

And finally,

"Presence is an invitation."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The death toll reaches two.

I should just make a tally sheet of every time I die for theatre, including rehearsals and shows and whatnot. I think the number might get outrageous, haha.

I'll be focusing this semester on breathing methods, learning proper Shakespeare, and bitching about Eugene O'Neill. Desdemona, here I come.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Having your Doctorate doesn't mean...

This audition process was so absolutely appalling that there really isn't much I can write here to be teacherly. I learned very little this time, and though I did a fairly good job, I believe, and I did everything right, there are some things that just can't be helped. Like totally fucking wingnut directors.

I won't get into that, simply because it's making me furious and I won't be able to sleep if I'm wound up.

I did, however, get some good audition prep advice, which I will share with you. That was effective, I think, all the time and effort that went into my monologue work and, mostly, my appearance.

Looking professional is fine and dandy, but for this particular situation, I was given time-tested advice on what to wear to accentuate qualities this director would be looking for - exuding femininity, innocence, pale skin... play to your strengths and play to the need of the role. I decided against my professional standard outfit for dresses and heels instead, picking colours that made me pale (gotta look white as a cracka for Othello ladies) and clothes that were feminine. I think it worked. Much love to Bill Adams for being my What Not To Wear guru.

I'm picking up voice lessons again on Tuesday, which is very exciting, and I'll have lots to teach on breathing methods, since my Stage Speaking class is phenomenal.