1. Action steps. 2013 was my most successful year to date as an actor. I think a couple of things aided in this. A) I started calling myself a professional actor and referring to myself as one. B) I made a timeline of milestones and goals for myself so I knew where I was along the way. What does this look like? i wrote out what I wanted the end of the year to look like for 2013. Then I wrote out where I was currently. Divided the year in half - what would it look like to be halfway to my year end vision? And then divided that again. What would it look like to be half way to my half way point. And what action steps would I need to get there? It helped to have action to continue moving forward. It may not have happened the way I planned it, but a ton of things I wrote out happened!!!!
The Thriving Artist Circle helped me out a ton in my thinking and my planning and Dallas Travers!!!
2. The Night of the Iguana. This was a huge production. I learned so much about putting up a big show. Having an extension. Working with a large cast. How to show up every night and bring it. The friendships. The rehearsal process. I was cast in the beginning of January and our last show was at the end of May. Wow! That is a long time. I am just so grateful to have been part of this show!
3. Short Films. I was making jokes that I needed to open an office on Wabash near Columbia College because it felt that i was down there every other week for auditions for short films. But it was worth it. That corridor netted me being cast in three short films. Scotty Works Out, Self-Deportation, and Some Are All White (working title). And the experience I have gained from shooting these films is incredible.
4. Tracy Letts and Michael Shannon. Every time I see them, i am reminded that I have to keep raising the bar here in Chicago to do them proud. I really look up to both of these men as Actors and Writers. As artists!! And want to make them proud of the art that is coming out of Chicago! Chicago Actors - time to step it up!!
5. You! I am grateful for you. The reader of this blog. The audience member. The supporter of love and joy. Thank you for being here. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for letting me be human in front of you. Thank you for letting me rant, brag and boost about my achievements. If you were not here there would be no here. You are amazing!! And You are here! And i am grateful!
I am ready for you! I am excited for you! Surprise me! Surprise me! I am ready to be big! I am ready for what you got!!
I have performed in 4 festivals and am about to put number 5 into the belt notch collection. So yes, this is partially self promoting the show, and also a semi gratitude list of all the benefits of doing a One-Act festival. ALSO!!! I am including a bunch of Robert Redford photos. I worked with my hair stylist Ludwig, and these photos were the basis and inspiration for the haircut. I just couldn't let them go without sharing them all with you.
1. Stage Time. The biggest and best reason do one act festivals is stage time.
Let's face it - as an actor we need stage time. It's precious. I never understood this while I was doing improv. All we needed was a few chairs and a few friends watching us and there was show. I did some time in the "bar-prov" scene. But stage time where you let the lines live in you and you doing the same script over and over again. This is a great place to get this precious community.
2. Networking. With One-Act festivals, for each one-act there is a writer, a director and your fellow actors. There are usually 6-8 one-acts. Plus the stage manager and artistic director curating the entire festival. So that's 30 to 40 people who get to see you work. (They also see you be a diva - so be sure to show up and be professional) You never know when you will walk into an audition and there will be one of those people on the other side of the table. It seems the longer I do this, the more important relationships and the building of them is very important!!!!
3. Tiny Play. You get to go through the entire experience of putting a show up. But in half the time. Sometimes even faster. Maybe it's been a while since you have been in a production? These little plays is the production process on cocaine!! It goes really fast, and then all of sudden it's opening night. Which is basically like a full production play - all of a sudden it is Opening night. It's go time.
4. Low Pressure. I'm not saying to not be professional. In EVERY situation please show up as a Professional. It's part of believing that you are a professional. But the stakes are low. Your friends will be in the audience. They want you to succeed. You get to discover your pre-show process. Your preparation. You get to flub lines and learn to deal with the shame after the show and how to pick yourself up and bring it. Basically these one-act festivals teach you how to show-up every night and deliver the goods consistently.
5. Fun and Experimentation!! More than likely, your one-act play will be the first time it has ever been on stage. There is no movie that has been done before. No You-Tube clips. You will be breathing life into these characters for the first time. For myself, that is incredibly exciting. The writer is excited to see what you can do with their words. And you get some creative license as an artist to CREATE!!! As an artist and an actor this is the sweet spot!!
Go out there! Audition audition audition!!! Get that stage time! Start treating yourself as the professional you are.
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