Tag: Character

Kitchen

Playing Melania

Working with a director that asks me to use my own personal past pains for a character is something I have often advised my students NOT to do. However, being in the situation myself it is not that easy to NOT do it.

The director wants me to associate myself with the character as much as possible. In the past I would have run from this but as I am working on my process where the whole point of is to know how to get out I have to do it.

Easy to get out of a character your don’t align with….but trickier to do it with one that bleeds into your own. From the start, willingly…not by chance…but by choice…this is something I have not wanted to do again. Claiming this work is dangerous…but if I have healed my stories…it shouldn’t be…it should be skillful and clear…the path in and most importantly the path OUT.

My SURF process is to both allow yourself to go into and then get out of a character, even if that character is your PAST self. IF- my past pains are healed…I know they are not current. I know that in my heart. I should and will be fine…THIS IS THAT TEST

I have been miserable for days. I have even thought to let go of the play. Walk away. Having been in rehearsal for several weeks. I was thinking NO. THis is not good for my soul. Look how sad I am….understanding her.

And then I thought of a MASTER dance class I was in and at the end when the entire class was putting the dance together…the last five minutes of the entire 2 hour class. I sat down. I bowed out. I was chicken and the teacher pointed it out to the whole group by celebrating those that didn’t sit. Those that dared to follow through till the end.

It was a subtle comment he made but it was pointed and it was felt. An arrow hit the mark. NOTE TO SELF… Dancing with a master company is ballsy- enough I was definitely taking the easy way less embarrassing way out by sitting down.

And so the idea of NOT doing this play because it is going to KICK MY ASS. it is going to show all my cards, it is dangerous. Hell…during rehearsal I was in a room with a guy who tested positive for COVID…this shit is SCARY…I want to run…I am sad and a mess and the idea that I am understanding TRUMP and MELANIA..is even MORE scary.

The idea that I am having conversations with my family about politics and I don’t have a side…the fact that MY opinion on all of this..even the book I spent the past 8 years writing is all being challenged…SCARES the hell out of me.

If I don;t do this show…A direct challenge to my work…it is like NOT wanting a deal on SHark Tank…backing out in a way. 

I can see the pattern…get right to the finish line and stop to tie my shoe…looks legit but it is totally NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH.. totally a chicken move

I am not going to back down or back into this…I am going to go full speed ahead….

I know that my relationships with my family are healed…I am living proof here in their home…I know I am aware of where I am able to remember the past and where I can let it go.

I can totally tap into my pain…and then with very clear and defined music and method…get myself out. THAT IS WHAT ACTORS DO….

I am able to do this…or I will be..

Something I am implementing is that I want people to call me by my name. Hearing the name SUSIE is very important for me…it reminds  me of who I am ..

I can so easily forget….

Acting

How I got out of character

Getting out of character.

I am an actor and part of how I work is taking on other people’s thoughts, movements and beliefs. It is a fascinating dive into the empathy realm and the playing with the line of reality. What is reality. What is YOUR reality and what is their’s and sometimes that line bleeds…if you are lucky, if I am lucky I am so believing in my role that even I don’t know where Susie starts and this new role ends.

It is the ultimate necessity to be an actor. To have the fearlessness to release yourself and that is what it is all about. Being able to walk up those never ending stairs- movement by movement -or belief by belief or word by word or action by action into another dimension.

This is the scariest thing mostly because you k now somewhere in this journey you are sacrificing parts of your own self and like a diver..how long can you be under water without suffering from vertigo or whatever it is called where you can’t remember which way is up?

Acting…FOR ME….is like that…I get lost…usurped by the role and disappear…I keep a shell of myself and my world and my family and kids and husband represent that but more than that and the entry is harder…so I shed a lot…I let go of comipments and relationships and I disappear…

Maybe not to the naked eye but to any would seeker or evenly worker they’ll see..I am slipping…

One day after I had returned to acting after raising my young children into semi functioning children I was heading home and I remember as I opened the front door….Oh, Yeah…my kids.

It struck me as funny but the idea that I can release my motherhood role was fascinating.. and to do it to such a point that I had to actively remember it…well.it was all a bit MENTAL to say the least.

Then one day after playing a very lovely part who loved to cook but not into sex so much…my husband asked..When in Susie coming home?

IT made me stop chopping my scallions and look up. “Excuse me” I said or she said…who knows…

Steve repeated the question and it slowly sank in….HE KNOWS…he knows I am not quite myself …even in my own kitchen…

I smiled and said…”don’t you like her…she loves to cook…”

She is fine but I miss Susie he said and in that moment the veil of delete that I am perhaps many actors live with was revealed…I was missing…

Give your heart to someone…even another version of your self and it can be tricky to find the door to unbolt and retrieve yourself..

Unless you build a very clear path back to it…to her…. And that is what I have been working on.

Finding first who SUSIE is and then venturing off and trying to return sans too much collateral damage.

What I am about to share with you look me years to articulate but recently I was speaking at the Miami Beach chamber of commerce to their health and wellness committee and they received it…they didn’t;t run to take my class because the idea is still touchy but they got it and I felt in that room…they felt the idea flicker in their mind…

What if THEY TOO were still in character and if they were…what role was it and what would they be without it…

I

Kitchen

Hello….Miami Motel Stories

THe other night a group of about 30 plus THEATER PEOPLE gathered at a delapitated soon to be remodeled MOTEL on Biscayne Blvd in Miami FLorida.

We were meeting and greeting about a new production that Juggernut is doing and I was in awe of it all.

IT is a huge production with original concepts and scripts and an array of actors that just blew my mind..

I was not excited nor bored I was peaceful I was HOME and in that I realized that sometimes you have to leave everything you know at the door and enter through the kitchen and smell the seasonings to ever really truly love love love your life.

I was one of the oldest people in the room but I was beyond thankful…One actor I had known since I first moved back to mIami in 1999/2000- He told me that if I was going to marry Steve I would end up leaving acting…
He was right…I did…I left I raised kids and I built a marriage and now I am here….sitting near this fortune teller knowing I CHOSE my path and although I have a few more lines on my face and a few more cracks in the heart I am more alive than I have ever been and my acting…well…I am bringing a hole new journey and I think it is going to be amazing..

S

Kitchen

Hello…One woman Show

I am building my one woman show out AT LAST. It is going to be about the archetypes I play, we all play, and how I flow in and out of mine…and at the end it will show who I am…at my core…without any of those roles by a proces of straining out the Bullshit..

I am thinking it is like trying to explain a lemon…in order to tell someone or show someone what a lemon taste like and feels like you have to put it in relationships…how it reacts to things and the thing it reacts to will have an opinion of the lemon…based on what they are…how aware of who they are and what the lemon is without it..

SO if I am the lemon…and I show how other “people” think of me all the while being the lemon…from their interpretation..their experience…I think that will show will be really multidimensional concept of the layers a person has..and how we may want to stop identifying with any one too strongly.we are all a combination of all our stories and in that not any one story at all.

I have asked my freinds to collaborate with me…I am thinking if I shall ask my family…I suppose I will-

I have my own footage of these past four years..and in the end I will truly answer and prove the question I asked in the show I did “WHAT IF: An experiment in pieces. I suppose I am putting the pieces back together again now…
So we shall see Can you analyze a person the way an actor would analyze a character….

And the answer is YES and the follow up is but do it through the eyes of LOVE…never analyze anyone without LOVE..
It is cruel and unkind and although we all are just stories of other people’s perceptions of us..even our own perceptions of ourselves..these are the worst stories that hold us the most…best to go through love….because we are all PURE energy…trying to pretend we are SOLID MATTER….and that in itself is an Oscar worthy Role we are all playing.

Keep up the smiles and the loves and never stay too long in a painful situation or story…as it takes just that long to get out of it…Ho’opononopno it away…as soon as you feel your little EGOS grasping for center stage…

WE are more like the paint on the wheel game colors and shades twirling on an axis creating…

Xoxoxo Susie