Tag: happiness

Kitchen

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019- and Jewbana

I arrived here with my family on the 5th of August. we picked up Nedra at the hotel she stayed the night in ( she arrived a day early) and we then drove on the opposite side of the road to our home..away from home and yet…it feels so much like home so quickly.

We rented an air b and b in Tranent…about a 25 min ride outside of Edinburgh. it is a home it is comfy it has a great kitchen and lots of rooms and bathrooms and the town is adorable and not too old town…very modern and hip.

We rehearsed int the house on the 6th and the 7th…about 10 hours in total. getting Nedra and I up to speed on where the show was. Nedra grabbed what we had done in Miami and with the song addition of IF YOU KNEW SUSIE and added in the burlesque moves for the transitions which was where the show kept falling flat.

I found my lines ( mostly;) We have changed the script so many times and I have added in so many that it was a bit hard to add int he new parts for heather and JIM. ( not his real name)

then on the 8th we had a tech rehearsal but we had to get the theater s few copies of the script. We had a little bit of an issue with this and I was getting on edge and then Nedra asked for coffee while we were late and that kind of book ethe camels back and we got into a fight.

It lasted only a few minutes and the work pulled us past ourselves.

She did an amazing job and Steve ended up buying her a coffee and just being a total gem.

then Steve took over the flying and postering lead. He met with Nick at the SPACE and got a game plan. He then picked us up and we went home and got the boys and then got ready for the show that night.

They flyer for 2 hours and I had 5 people the first night and 15 the second ( around that) and then tonight I had three.

they reduced the flying to 1 hour before the show but…We shall see.

Yesterday we actually had a photo shoot from 12-2. in the church and the theater lobby at the space. WE got kicked ut of the theater and then had some great photos taken by a photographer my press agent got me.

He was talented and I suspect the shots will be very good – egg inferno too Jesus…Heather a the alter in Roller blades and Jim in a guy outfit as well as Nedra and I at the space in the lobby and me in the outfit from the show eating the pie and stretching on the railing..

The second night the audience was amazing and kind and I was enjoying myself a lot. Tonight it was intimate and I ran the show as best I have…I have 12 more performances ..needless to say it will get better and better.

I hope the boys have the script and the technicians know how to call the show and that all goes well.

I am proud in a humbling way of the work I have done on this show. I have produced, written, stared and feel fully committed and seen and like I have left nothing on the table.

I am drenched at the end of the show. I am tired I am exhausted and it runs a good 45 minutes..it is a fun show…people in the audience smile…one guy looked at his watch but that’s something I have to accept and understand… I love my work…

Nedra is leaving tomorrow…I am sad about it…I am going to be ok…Maria is coming in a few days and then Christina and they will be super helpful…

Steve …and the boys….I could cry just thinking about it…have been so kind and loving….Jeadon was a little sad about not staying till the end of camp but them last night we talked and he was able to get over it..or maybe it was that camp ended for everyone and there is nothing to be sad about now…

They have been flying and helping and Steve…I think…there is something about this play and him helping and driving everywhere ( on the wrong side of the road) that has been so sexy and helpful and just totally affirming…

the feeling I have now is AIR…space…nothing…

I have fed a giant within me…I ma doing a one woman show and I am loving it…I am fully DOING it…all of it…and it is such a powerful freeing feeling to do…I am sure others who have done this know what I am talking about but to those that are thinking of doing it…wondering if it will really mean THAT much …change your understanding of self THAT much…well…YES…so far..yes..

I was terrified to do my first run at the soho house in their gym space while it was being refurbished and then again I was like WHAT…at the Miami Light box and now…Now I see here in Edinburgh I am ding it and it is becoming …something I do…like a gig…like a job…

I suspect we will go in early on Monday and see more plays and then from there I will be able to flyer and then into the show….althougth it has been nice staying home till about 5..

today we went to eat at a place Nedra’s friend ( who I know as well) told us about called THE ROOST. Her friends cousin owns it.

it was yummy..

Tomorrow Steve is taking Nedra to the Airport and then gig to see a famous gold course and then we are all gong to go to a hike he saw…outside of the city.

Monday I have the opportunity to perform on a stage and do a little snip of the show…I am excited about it /terrified but like not really..

Par too this is like I am going through something I have already gone through..like oh yeah..I know this…I feel it may be like this because I have been meant to do this for so long now…

Steve is smiling when he looks at me…he sees me happy and content in a massive way..

I am going to bed…It is 1:23 am

I love my life…

I love it all…..each space between the morsels of it…

xoxoxo

SUSIE

Kitchen

An Actors Approach to Letting go of a Character to Avoid Personal Psychological Concussions

As an actress I devoted myself to years of intensive training that taught me how to embody any type of character I wanted to portray. The training was based around the concept of tapping in to a thought or belief within my personal life experience that I could then manipulate and repurpose to say and do things that would be convincingly portrayed via a character to the audience. This style of training is successful, yet I also find it capable of causing psychological concussions. Concussions caused by stitching your own personal experiences into the material of a character so seamlessly that you struggle to remember where you end, and your character begins. In my intensive training I was never taught how to tear apart the seams, to separate, to let go, to get out of the character and back in to myself and only myself. I find the omission of this additional training to “fall out of character” fascinating since the ability to let go of a character is part of being able to get another job. So, why wasn’t I taught that? I have my theories!

These physiological concussions are creating repercussions on actors and the society they help mold. The ability to go in and out of a belief system or physical world of one character and into the belief system of another is powerful, playful and at times dangerous. It can be noted in Jim Carey’s documentary, Health Ledger’s experience playing the Joker and Denzel Washington’s journey in Fences to name a few. We should suspect there are countless others if we all dared to look, or they dared to tell. With such a negative social stigma on mental illness it is not safe in the world of acting to admit such a thing, a mental weakness of losing the ability to identify self from character. Perhaps we would train our actors to be better equipped for the life of an actor if we can accept the risks of the business and the management of rewards from success. Leaving yourself open and vulnerable to people in the business, as well as the embodied characters, is dangerous and steps should be made to be more honest with this truth. Perhaps at the very least offer early counsel to parents and talented young souls of where a career in acting can lead.
Much like football we all watch the entertainment with little or no concern for the players. If we cared too much the game lose its luster. As a culture we would have look for another option of entertainment which may not be hard to do however, it would still require a shift in culture. We are starting to hear the desperate concerns from players and their families regarding the long-term ailments from early and repeated concussions. It was only recently that the football world mentioned this and yet it was a known issue, but they would just put the players back on the field until it was publicly addressed.
I love acting and have decided to teach it even though I feel my career as an actor was demonstrative and toxic to my life. I was greatly affected by the psychological concussions caused by acting and they were a heavy burden. They not only impacted many aspects of my life but those of my husband and children as well. The burden was so much to bare and the continual negative outcomes from the concussions created an environment so toxic that I couldn’t maintain a healthy and fulfilling work-life balance. I decided to leave the profession and focus all my love and compassion to raising my children. As my children have grown and their independence has matured I found myself with an opportunity to return to acting which lead to teaching acting.
To part surprise and part dismay I returned only to be haunted by the ghost of the characters I had embodied. Sometimes they are helpful by giving me skills I had yet to learn and other times, because I was a method actor, they put my whole family and everything we had built on the chopping block. How could this be happening even after taking a ten-year long hiatus from the profession? I have pondered this for quite some time and believe it is because of the way I was trained to set up a story for the character and how to format the character. The format demands the character be present in my own life. It parallels a bad habit, an addiction, that now becomes something you must contend with in your own life.
I found myself captivated with the practice of acting and the aspect of movement. I began to create my own concept of training that keeps the acting skills at the forefront of character development but also provides guidance on returning the actor back to neutral- home again, to fully self-identify and unstitch the seam they created to embody their character of choice. My concept is successful and yet my concept creates a dilemma. It is contradictory to the training that many other teachers in my department implement. They rely on the same techniques I was subjected to in my formative years to get the actors to tap in to a very personal place to format a character, yet they do not intend or advise them on the absolute necessity to peel that character away when they are through with the act.
Another challenge I am currently facing is where, do we as teachers, draw the line of acceptable behavior from an actor who has failed to disembody a character? A male student acted out a scene where he portrayed an abusive lover. This actor himself is believed to have attacked a fellow actress at the school. The actress had to leave because of the trauma from the alleged attack. The faculty is aware of the attack and has opted to allow such behavior to happen in the name of artistic expression. Failing to distinguish a realistic attack versus one that was allegedly performed under guise of acting. They can’t seem to distinguish the actor from the character because their belief in the formation of a character doesn’t require such separation.
Parents should question the use of their money being spent on such practices? Are we as teachers at any point obligated to nurture character formation yet also teach the limit of the actions of a character? I have brought my concerns to the school faculty, but the consensus is that no action is required on behalf of the school. I hypothesize that the concepts they rely on to train actors use pain as talent and they refuse to try and find another way to format characters. The issue is that the actors must KNOW THYSELF-know home, self-identify and even more so be taught to know themselves as to create a more defined boundary between them and the character.
Many actors enjoy acting for the opposite reason, it keeps them away from self. If they wear a mask, then there is somewhere to hide physically and emotionally all the while never creating the environment to mature in to their own personal selves. My concept of training teaches the actors to be whole people who have healed their own anger by learning how to get out of character. Know who they are and recognize the natural paths of their own personal maturity. Understand that they are powerful and must respect their abilities or they will become part of the problem. An open and willing actor can find themselves being used and manipulated emotionally without any concern for what they are enduring. Thus, subjecting themselves and those around them to the emotional and psychological concussions from acting. They return to other players in the profession such as agents and managers who don’t delve in to the intentions or practices of the director nor care to, if the actor is getting roles and providing a profit regardless of what those roles represent and the concussions that they are likely to cause.

Kitchen

Letting go … about the S.U.R.F. Process

THe story -the way we connect to ourselves, to each other, to our past and to our future seems like the logical place to start when you want to let go of pain in your life. G0 to the point of entry.

But GO as An actor Goes towards a role. With a notebook and curiosity and lots of respect and love for the story. If you judge it the story will go fuzzy.

I love using music and movement and it has been how I healed ALL my pain. I am not angry or angst UNLESS something enters into my immediate life and it is not for me- THEN I get angry and angst and I address that STORY ASAP. BUT there are no layers involved usually- it is just a toxin that came in and because my air is clean I feel it and it bothers me…and I try and get it out ASAP.

This process came to me through my own personal experiences and yesterday I was pointed in the direction of narrative Psycology and from what I read this is the umbrella of what I came to realize and explore in my SURF MEthod.

As an actor trained to hold story to access emotion I eventually found this troubling when my own father past away and I was holding the pain and the injury and counldn’t understand why I wasn’t letting go.

What was revealed to me was that I was trained to use pain as motivation. Anger as inspiration and I believe now that our society has absorbed this training in our content and as a society are being programmed through our PROGRAMS to do the same.

Subconsciencly i couldn’t let go of the pain because my internal actor was harboring it in her tool kit. I finally found this story within myself and kindly and softly sat down with HER and said. Listen…even if we never act again you can’t carry this pain with you my love, you Won’t make it. She released that was a truth and though my SURF movement process slowly and thus the idea of relief set in.

I learned through this idea personally and by training others that empathetic acting is much more interesting but the only way to insure you aren’t hurting yourself and others by “USING IT” ( a line in acting to tap into your pain and use it for your role) is to know you have cleaned your plate of all the HYPER CHARGE STORIES you have..

LEtting go of anything that you hold as a version of WHO YOU ARE is what this is about and many people do not SEPERATE the STORY from theirselves. If feels like a death, a MELTING away and even having been doing it for years it never gets easier but the process goes faster and the relief lasts longer.

Last night I followed a sign and went to a movement studio in MIami called the Republic of Movement and as we began the first game A smile crossed my face…I found a gold nugget that is in the movement itself kind and not demanding and honest and not forced. Exactly what I have internally found within myself.

MY question was- How do you move from GRACE…well last night I found out…Beautifully and Slowly.