"Your growth is not technique, your growth is revealing what you are"
How was your May? Frantic and chock-a-block yet tranquil? Aren't these three states of being part of a "balanced" lifestyle (tranquil being a wee percentage) in New York City? With all the creative chaos I went through recently (and numerous occasions to celebrate: Mine and Doug's Birthdays and our Anniversary), I decided to self impose tranquility with this month's mantra:
I can be slow but I am still moving forward.
Let's start with the Fun Stuff to share...
I periodically usher at Playwrights Horizons and this month saw Indian Summer wonderfully written by Gregory S. Moss. My heart leaped and soared feeling so present and engaged as I laughed and squirmed for the social awkwardness of these characters! The excellent ensemble cast are so generous towards one another. I am so grateful to be a receiver of such stellar work and so much heart. Please see this play!
Speaking of lovely summer experiences, we went to Fire Island for the first time to celebrate the wedding of our dear friend: Renaissance Woman/ Visionary Director/ Unique Playwright/ Wicked Technologist Kat Mustatea. She looked exultant with a bouquet of flowers in her hair. She and her husband "to be" Sasha were led to the ocean by a live retro band to say their "I do's". It felt like we were joining a New Orleans Second Line as the locals cheered us on. What a fun wedding!
As it begins heating up, laugh yourself silly becoming a child again by watching combat at the drop of a hat in Water Balloon Fights with Strangers. Btw, if you happen to be struck by the accompanying image I've chosen on the right, then check out how L.A photographer Tim Tadder captures slow-mo water balloons colliding into bald headed men in Water Wigs. These men are spectacularly handsome! :)
Now here's my Acting/Creative Stuff to share:
Writopia Lab Film Festival was held at TheaterLab on Sun 5/15 @ 4pm where I starred in three films: "Life and Death at Fox News" by Nate Simon (Lead Role), "The Worst Job" by Matalin Crossgrove and "Fake News" By Jesse Koblin (Supporting Roles). Congratulations, you three! Keep writing! :)
In the acting world, I have taken on dialect coaching with Hamilton Matthews to smooth out the bumps in my American accent. Skyping from LA once a week during the dark hours of the morning; he: in his backyard to pick up wifi and me: huddled, bleary-eyed in my room in Queens. We go through everything from monologues, sides and books to everyday items like the back of shampoo bottles. This year, I want to strengthen my craft as a film & TV actor which feels like it will take forever, being totally outside my theater comfort zone, but that's OK. I feel better having two coaches (Ari Blinder is the one I mentioned last month) to assist and believe in my work.
In the world of writing, I am like a chicken waiting to lay an egg. The space I cleared for the Muses is met with silence and frustration. My story morphed through several forms: from a TV pilot to a One Woman Show (which on paper sounded too literary and a tad dry), to simplifying it considerably to fit the module of a Web Series (six episodes running 3-5 minutes long). The latter came from attending a Jessica Blank seminar called How To Create Your Own Web Series. The pertinent question is: how can my material be produced in a financially viable way? From finding my team, casting actors, securing locations and most important: paying everyone for their work because an artist must FEEL THEIR VALUE (learn more about this cause in my next topic). Meanwhile, my writing itself comes in drips and drabs. The only thing I can do during my delegated 3 days off (per week) is: open Final Draft, sit, stare at screen, structure the outline, explore the character landscapes, write a lot and then suddenly be frugal so I can get to the true essence of a scene that should be both clear and full as a balloon (mind you, all within 3-5 mins)! But still I try. Also, cutting back my hours to write has meant I am now experiencing first hand that quote about starving artists, penned in his final hour by the legendary Preston Sturges: "live dangerously with a small income."
A passionate producer and actor named Ben Davis came to see Asylum? last month; curious about me and how it held up (having read my newsletters and found my journey as a first time director compelling)! This man is a fierce advocate for a Performing Arts solution where artists of even small (or no) income can band together to change the way projects can be produced so that everyone receives, at the very least, some monetary compensation. To find out more, please visit the blog (and even subscribe) Ben with Coffee. Ben, thank you for coming to see my play, your attendance in itself made me feel that I am an artist with something valuable to share with this world! :)
Coming in June? I've decided to continue trusting my process and showing up to my laptop and write. If anyone out there has a little odd job; a knick knack job on the side where I can palm small amounts of monetary compensation, please let me know! It will stave off my finances a little longer before I can come up with a more feasible plan to balance my temp jobs with my creative pursuits.
Much love to you and please wear sunscreen and a hat!