Sunday, March 23, 2008

"How come I end up where I started/How come I end up where I went wrong/Won't take my eyes off the ball again..."


The classical program rejection letter came yesterday. I wasn't home--I had Heidi open it and read it to me over the phone. Then I asked her to destroy it, throw it out--I didn't want failure in the house. (Let's forget about the state of my room for the moment, which is its own failure in a way.) I have to call her to confirm that she did so.

The last time I got a rejection letter from a college I was on my way to my high school's cabaret auditions, wearing a purple prom dress and probably too much eye make up--I'm from New Jersey, it happens. It was actually a rejection from the college I ended up attending, the college I ended up getting my Bachelor's in Theatre Arts in--I gained entry into the department after one semester as "undeclared" and another audition. But regardless, the initial letter about near killed me. Since I had been expecting this letter this time around, and partly because of the previous admission letter, probably explains why I'm feeling the affects of this rejection less so, if at all. Having been able to avoid the offending artifact itself is also super great.

This entry was going to go in to my reaction to the rejection, some consideration of what it meant then, what it means now, what it means to do classical theatre versus the kind of theatre I was accepted to the school for, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, but I find little point in all of this. I also find anything I have to say comes out sounding superfluous and silly. Maybe because it falls into the overly "self-indulgent" category I'm trying to avoid. Maybe because I don't know how I feel about it all yet. I know I'll feel jealous of my classmates when I watch them doing those plays, speaking that text, but then that's generally how I roll. I'm jealous of everyone in a play that I'm not in, especially when it's a really good play and all you want to do is get up and join the fun. I'm Bottom, damn it: "Oh let me play the lion too!"

But maybe my lack of dramatic reaction, besides having pretty much known it was coming, is because what I want as an artist has changed. It used to be "all classical theatre, all the time"--this was of course, after the "all musical theatre, all the time" phase. And then it was just about any good play that utilized good Stanislavsky/Strasberg/Adler/Hagen/Meisner technique--take your pick. Then about a year ago, maybe more, realism got boring. REAL boring. KCruger can vouch for this one. I stopped wanting to work on straight plays, modern or classical, because nothing satisfied me. I wanted to create; something new, something of my own, and something that didn't depend on words or dialogue delivery to encompass what was going on with my character(s). I wanted a larger theatrical gesture, but didn't know how to get it. I still don't.

There's something about creating work that is solely your own--not necessarily solo pieces, but being the (mostly) sole creative force behind a work of art--that is ultimately terrifying, yet in the end seems to be the only thing that will be at all satiating to me. Figuring out how to do something like that at 23 though, seems impossible. And while I'm the kind of person that normally sees some daunting task and will literally almost kill herself trying to succeed at that, while performing 18 other life threatening feets at the same time (just ask me what I've done the first three months of this year), I find suddenly: I am tired. I don't want to work that hard all my days. And I'm too young to be this weary. Luckily for me my ambition always overcomes my exhaustion. I only hope that experimenting with so many disciplines as we are slated to next year, many rooted in dealing with the physical life of a character/creature/"thing" on stage, I'll find what works for me. And hopefully it will work more than running around in a bodice ever could.

But bodices are real fun...

I guess the danger is to assume that when you're not studying or performing classical theatre, that you don't do it anymore. That it goes away. This is obviously not true, and there are Lots of examples as to why, and having finished a fairly successful production of Much Ado About Nothing just a week ago after missing out on the Shakespeare for about two years, should just prove more how it doesn't just go away. But how does one make room for that kind of performance with what's to be studied? And how can the two aid each other, in performance and in the classroom?

I guess we'll find out.

2 comments:

cokaly said...

i remember that purple prom dress... :)

Lea Maria said...

I know you do, Okaly. I know it! ;)