Friday, December 09, 2005

1 Dimensional?

Many times I start writing and I end up erasing the sentence I just wrote, because starting out always seems to be one of the hardest things for me to do. I have so many idea's that I want to share, yet, figuring out how to best bring you into my train of thought, always puzzles me. Maybe I should just start off with exactly what I am thinking at the moment...

I am in a play. For the first time in 5 1/2 years, I am in a play. Just to be clear, I graduated with a degree in Theatre/ performance. Let's just say, I took acting very seriously. It was my entire life. Then 5 years ago I had a huge life change... I fell madly, passionately in love with Jesus Christ. At that moment, I had to give up my old lifestyle. To be honest, my love for theatre went right out the door. In fact, I did a complete 180. It got to where the very idea of "performing on stage" repulsed me.

I lived in Russia as a missionary this past summer. It was an amazing life experience. However, when I returned to the states, I was drained; emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. I knew that I needed to "rest in the Lord," but I was not sure how to do that practically. I also new that I needed to do something that wasn't work. So, I started hanging out where I used to do theatre, because a dear friend of mine is a director there. Before I knew it, the acting bug bit me, again.

So, I auditioned for a role that is, I hope, completely opposite of me, and got it. I play "Boo Levy" in The Last night of Ballyhoo. The last couple of months have been wonderful. And I must say that I have worked diligently to "get" who she is. In fact, she is one of the most exhausting roles I have ever played.

In times past, I never really gave a second thought to what a critic would say, because mainly, I never got a bad review. However, I guess I have lost my tough skin that one must have in order to be an actor, because part of the review, given by the local theatre critic, really got to me.

"Some of the broader comic roles are too one-dimensional, so that one wishes for more subtlety and variety in their presentation. In contrast, Svela, Waits, Haberkorn and Humber appear more grounded in their characters, making audiences listen more attentively to their concerns."
Now you see, there are only 3 other people in the play besides the 4 mentioned. And I happen to be one of them. And by the way, Boo Levy is as about subtle as coarse sandpaper. I didn't write the play, Alfred Urhy did and he won a Tony for it in 1997. Also, I have 2 big ole emotional crying scenes, which in all of my years of theatre, I have never done. So for me, she is probably the most emotionally draining character I have ever played.

Now granted, Mr. Theatre critic is entitled to his opinion, however I know for a fact that he had never read or seen this show before he came to review it. I understand that "Boo" is a loud, overbearing, mean and at times hateful woman. I know this, because for the last 2 months I have gotten to know her really well. And if she were a real person, I would not want to be around her. Yet, I am curious as to how Mr. Theatre critic, would have played "Boo."

1 comment:

Brian Harrison said...

Well, I find it neat that you are in a play that actually has critics spectating. I mean so what if he didn't commend your performance, it's been over 5 years since you stepped out on stage and with a character type that you're not at all familiar with. Give it time.