Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh I Believe In You

I am having a crisis of confidence lately.

I'm not sure what to make of it, but I just keep trying to think about one of my favourite parts of 'Harriet the Spy'. When everyone in her class hates her for writing about them in her notebook and she is having a terrible, time.

'First she went to the bathroom because she hadn't in the morning, and when she was sitting there she wrote in her notebook:


Monday, February 11, 2013

Though It's Fearful, Though It's Deep, Though It's Dark

This is wonderful in so many ways.

Isn't it reassuring to hear that others are scared too?

the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I've Always Said That I Was a Rover

I'm cheating on my play.

What's that quote? The pleasure isn't in having nothing to do; the pleasure is in having something to do and not doing it. Something like that.

I have a few things that I should work on, writing wise. Nothing really has any possibility, so I'm still just kind of pushing myself along with no promise of money, or recognition, or forward momentum, but that's ok. There are still things that I have been working on for periods of time and I want them to be better and I want them to be plays that do get money or recognition or forward momentum at some point.

And I've put enough time into some of them that I really need to keep going, if only for my own sanity and for something to write on my tombstone other than 'She sure could eat a lot, eh?' (Coming up with what to put on my tombstone is one of my great morbid pleasures! Other things I'm considering include: 'No one tell me what happens, I haven't finished it yet!', 'Laughing on the Oustide, Crying Within', and 'Was this food for everyone?' The great thing about them is they all also function as chapter titles in my autobiography, should I one day wake up and realize that I'm Lena Dunham).


Here's how I feel about what I should work on:

And here's how I feel about unborn plays that I COULD write:

The projects that I should work on are invariably less fun than the projects I shouldn't work on.

You know what's great about a play that isn't written yet? There's a certain gleeful period when it's more than just a spark, it's a whole image, or character, or idea, there's some fuel in it, but before it's a play that's full of holes and problems and damn characters who don't do anything. This is usually, for me, the same gleeful period when it's something that I am interested in, but don't care enough about yet that it's pressure, pressure, oh my god so much pressure. The play doesn't have to be anything yet, and I haven't put enough time into it to feel like I need to make something out of it, it's like what the romantic idea of writing is, that an idea just comes and you are swept away by it and transported and then you stop and continue to live your life with this wonderful little fairy of a story humming along inside you. Possibility.....

This lasts for usually about five pages.


It feels like Santa Claus, like someone just popped in to give you presents. You let your old, fat, boring play deal with itself and spend time with your hot new play lover.

Until that play lover deserts you and leaves you stuck after half an hour. BUT UNTIL THEN......

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Check Your Personality

Thinking a lot about 'type' and 'hit'.....partly because I have some new headshots and I stare at myself and think 'who is this person? who do you cast her as?', and partly because I'm struggling when I get cast as my type and also when I get cast against it, and it's kind of endlessly puzzling to me.

This is one of those boring business type things that I hate, but really, if I put a little bit of time into the boring business stuff and get better at it, conceivably I have a better chance of being able to act and make theatre all the time, and so I'm willing to put up with it.

There's the person/actor that you are, that people immediately peg you as and that you are easily. And things being what they are, for me that usually breaks down as 'ugly'. I get parts that aren't for pretty girls. There's some wonderful stuff in there and I've had some really cool opportunities and there are, actually, some parts within that hit that I would really like to play professionally...Maria in Twelfth Night, maybe (which I've done but never for cash really and I GOTSTA GET PAID). Or some of the women in 'Our Country's Good', which I'd love love to do. Or Sonya in 'Uncle Vanya', which is a huge huge dream role. 

And I know I can do that stuff, and when I see that stuff in the breakdown (key words: plain, lonely, quirky, clumsy, supporting) I'm like, 'awesome!'. But then there's another part of me that wants to be challenged and wants to be seen in a different way, partly because it's frustrating to always think of yourself as a hideous troll, and partly because, you know, you dream of the great parts, you don't always dream of being the maid. 

The weird thing is sometimes I get one of those parts and I freak right out and spend weeks saying how I'm not pretty enough to do it and I'm miscast and I talk myself right out of that. Under special skills on my resume, I have 'making myself feel bad'. There's this duality of not believing I can do it and FIERCELY believing that I can do it, both at the same time. Of KNOWING that I'm that funny ugly maid and also knowing I'm not. 

I'm writing a one-person show about self and the myriad of selves we are, and I know for a Tim Hortons commercial you just need to be one thing, but, like, sometimes I'm a mom, and sometimes I'm a sidekick, and we're all so many different things, and even the 'me' that isn't, that I dream about, there's a reality in that somewhere. There's at least a theatrical reality in that, in the same way that if we're all witches or in Italy or on a spaceship I can at least be a version of myself that might not really exist, can't I?

ISN'T IT AMAZING THAT THERE IS A SELF THAT DOES THIS THINKING ABOUT ME? Man, sometimes I think about the brain and I just have to go eat something. 

I really think that knowing what roles you can play and how to present yourself in order to get in the door and start working is a smart thing, but then there's a point that you want more. Beyond that, I don't  like that I think of myself as only one thing. It's limiting me. I dont' want to think that I can never play certain roles because if I have to think that way I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep going.

It's an amazing thing, this in-between of reality and fantasy. You need a fantasy, but you accept reality? You strive to be seen as more than you are while staying who you are, or discovering who you are? Identity is defined by what people peg you as, but you keep dreaming? You create the fantasy of the play with (or in spite of) the reality of the actors. Very weird. Very rabbit hole. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

No Need to Tough It When You Can Slough It Off

This is what I'm trying to do:

In a less delicate way:

I am aspiring to LEAVE IT ON THE FLOOR. Like Beyonce.

I walked away from an audition feeling like crap today (argh. Blargh. MY ONE SHOT. Blargh), but recently even if I've had a good audition I've walked away and started obsessing about everything I said and did and what it meant.

And honestly it's not so much the torture of that that bothers me....I'm quite accustomed to the torture of auditioning and of my own mind, but there's something so BORING about caring after a certain point. Like today as I was getting ready I started to panic about my hair, but after a certain period of time, I just get sick of myself being someone who is willing to spend that much time and effort on their hair. I actually bore myself. And it's boring to complain and it's boring to make excuses for myself (which of course I do). Who really wants to hear about a crap audition? Unless you vomit fireworks or somebody starts screaming, it's just not that interesting. So....I just want to move on from things once I did them. I did it. I work hard. There are lots of possible outcomes (really only two), but lots of ways to come to those outcomes and lots of things that can result from either one of them. So.


Also Tupac:


Because I only want to be fascinating and thrilling and sassy, just like Beyonce! Isn't it wonderful to meet a fascinating person? A lot of people are not interested in showing you how fascinating they are, and a really good way to show people how not fascinating you are is to complain about shitty auditions.  And a good way to be fascinating is to be BEYONCE!!!!

Tomorrow I have another audition, but in general I'm quite concerned about the lack of auditions I've had for summer. I've submit to a lot of places and none of them even want to see me. Could it be stories of my rampant boorishness and ceaseless swearing have reached them all the way in the regional theatres of southern Ontario? Has my unfortunate reputation preceded me? Hopefully something will come through for the long hot summer although I'm not sure what my options are.

Otherwise, I've been watching this endlessly. It's Thea Sharrock's really wonderful production of 'As You Like It' at the Old Globe from 2007. It is all on YouTube, in 12 parts, quite well done, and how I've been spending my time the past week. 'As You Like It' is my favourite Shakespearean comedy because I think it is frothy and glorious and full of love, and this production really captures that fizzy feeling. I just love it: