Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"I'm not that small an actor."

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between New Jersey and New York like a commuter with a mistress I can excuse easily to the wife (if only I was getting reimbursed for transit by my company). I was grounded for a while last week with a four day fever that finally let up the morning of my birthday. The day before the first day of my 24th year, I hopped myself up on Motrin and did a reading of a new play, All is Always Now by Robert Wray, the most acting I’ve done since my little stint as the most helpful of modern tools. It was jarring, but exciting all the same.

My one complaint was that I didn’t have too much to do—in a developing script that only stands at about 38 pages, I was in about the last three. It’s difficult for an actor to know what they’ve done when they have a small part. People mostly connect gripes regarding a mini-sized role directly to an actor’s ego, but it is, in a strictly practical way, difficult. I’ve had leads and parts that were practically walk-ons, and they’re all difficult—acting is hard—but the tough part about the smaller ones is that it’s often hard to see how your character fits in with the action, most of which has been going on without you and independent of what your character wants or needs. This is not always the case and it would be a lie to say so. But it was true in terms of this reading, though I have been told that Margo, the actress that I portrayed for the last three pages, is more developed as the story goes on. So while I think the reading went off well, and I hope Robert got some meaningful feedback to help him finish—and I assure you, my part is supposed to get bigger—I have no idea how I did personally. I can’t even make the usual self- deprecating, humbling assessment of my work, which has become my habit (though secretly or in great moments of inebriation, I do think I am the shit). I truly have no idea. But I do know that it made me hungry and ancy to get back to it—I’ve been in hibernation too long, and I’m ready to play again.

My visa came today! Hooray! One less thing to have a heart attack over.

Other than the visa and the reading, not too much else is going on here, except that I have one week left in the country. And I still haven’t packed my brand new luggage. Not one iota.

Denial, denial, denial…

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