A Smashing April!
"Nobody Is Gonna Hit As Hard As Life" - Rocky
April packed punches! I was pummeled with lessons. The above banner art is a fitting image for capturing what I am experiencing: the stains of my blood have been overcome by the colors of my soul surging with self expression and determination; despite the many jaw dropping and heart breaking setbacks.
Let's begin with Acting/Creative Stuff:
Standardized Patient Work. Comforted to know after a full day of my breasts being examined by student doctors, both male and female, that I am definitely in the clear. Thank you for the check up. Winthrop University Hospital - and the handsome paycheck!
My directorial debut of Asylum? written by Daniel Curzon has been the steadiest bashing of harsh teachings, from soup to nuts. The play is a loaded conversation about a very relevant and sensitive issue and right off the bat I encountered much contention and resistance from people who thought it's subject matter was offensive. However, there are three positive things I can say about my very steep learning curve:
1. I am very resourceful! For the majority of the time I found an excellent space for my actors to rehearse - and it was free!
2. One of my actors thanked me for inspiring him to feel such deep empathy for his character. Particularly poignant when your actor is an Israeli Jew playing a Palestinian asylum seeker.
3. I was surprised to see just how much I could care about a play, the characters and my actors. I searched so hard for my lead character "Hamid" and honored minority casting from the beginning but sadly I had two different actors in a row drop out due to previously unforeseen scheduling nightmares. So, my wonderful husband Doug Rossi has stepped in truly last minute, got off book in literally just one day(!) and now Asylum? is again a go! My other actor Mary Francina Golden has given me a new template of how dedicated and loyal an actor should be in their craft, both in the play and as a person. She is a class act and I am most grateful to have her in my first directorial project.
Ah Kubrick! If I could go back in time and step into your black and white photo, I would definitely ask you to pragmatically hurl that pie right in my face! How I would see the comedy in this experience. It hurts like Hell right now, but I know one day I will be laughing about this crazy ride!
Also in the festival, I myself have just had to step in to play the role of Delta in Instructions for the Audience written by Stephen Dierkes and produced by Lama Theater Company. Heart in my mouth but with my placenta still attached to the other play. Let's see if the Character Actress in me rises to the occasion and kill it! I want to do my director Amber Kusching proud and to my scene partner Frank Delessio. This very fun and clever little play deserves its own mention.
On-Camera Audition & Cold Read Coaching with Ari Blinder.
He trained with Margie Haber in L.A and is bringing this woman's extremely effective technique to New York. In just three sessions my mind is blown by how immediate the results are in my on-camera work. Taking in huge gulps of knowledge and super grateful that Ari is present and available to work with me. If you want to take your on-camera work to another level, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is seriously an awesome guy and coach!
Usually I write "Fun Stuff to Share" here but for this month I must give tribute to Prince, a true original and astonishingly gifted artist:
Nearly cried again and truly realized how much I will always miss this artist when watching the great Bruce Springsteen open his Brooklyn gig with Purple Rain.
Dave Chappelle totally kills it in this legendary sketch Charlie Murphy Stories, when Eddie Murphy's brother and his gang were invited by Prince to play a game of basketball. Laughed and cried again so hard!
And lastly, Purple Rain was actually the first movie Doug and I (almost) watched together! I was living in this small sublet room in Sunnyside where the internet connection was so bad because there were 5 young Asian guys living there too who were incessantly downloading massive files seemingly around the clock. He came over for dinner and we chose this as our date movie. While, the constant buffering symbol quickly thwarted our plan, at one point he leaned over and gave me our first kiss. We will obviously try viewing it again under much better web circumstances (perhaps next month for our Anniversary).
Back in Melbourne, during my early years of trying to create a momentum with y acting career, my Dad once got me to do an experiment. He came over for a cup of tea and listened to me complain about not finding work. Then he looked at me, walked into my bedroom and said "You should move your bookshelf out into the communal living room." I thought he was going crazy but he explained the laws of Feng Shui: if I created a blank space in my room, new opportunities would come rushing into my reality. I tried, probably more because I was already pretty bored, but guess what? He was right. In just one week, I had landed an industrial gig, received a call back for a commercial and was invited to audition for a play.
So now I'm doing something like that for May: creating empty space to write. I'm scaling back my hours from all temp jobs, budgeting my money by doing a lot of home cooking, wiping down the dust from my work desk and waking up early morning to breathe in and write. I just want to write...
I now leave you with hopes that your April was just plain awesome. I hope the seeds you planted -creative to personal- are flowering beautifully this Spring.