Memorization

(Source: Facebook.)

I just had a long talk with my friend and classmate about memorization. Namely, we’re memorizing too many different texts. Since we have 10 classes, each class offers something different:

•A scene from an Irish play for Monday’s class.

•A piece of text from “The Tell Tale Heart” for the Tuesday morning class.

•A Shakespeare monologue for the Tuesday afternoon class.

•A scene from an Irish television show for Wednesday’s class.

•2 songs off book for vocal rep.

And that’s only this week.

Memorization is incredibly helpful, and over time, with enough training, I can memorize quickly. However, with stress, a varied schedule, and too many texts to learn, I’m far too scattered. With the way my brain works, I need to dedicate more time to learn a show or a piece of text than maybe the average person.

I pray to survive the semester with all of my texts in place. But I wish I could dedicate myself to one piece of text at a time.

Reading Week and Some News

(Source: Student Problems, Facebook.)

It’s officially day 1 of my week break with the school…it was needed.

An incident happened with the professor I was beginning to have conflict with that left me angry, in tears, and pretty much left the classroom never to return. I reported the incident to the head of the department and we are trying to find a way for me to still earn the credit without returning to that class. I will share more about what happened on Thursday and Friday after the break because it’s an ongoing issue that keeps spiraling.

For now, I have a ton of assignments to complete before the week is over:

•Reciting a monologue in Standard British

•Completing an essay for music theatre history class.

•Do research for event management class

•Practice my comedic Shakespeare monologues for one of my acting classes and read the two books that professor required us to read over the break.

•Learn a scene from an Irish play for my other acting professor.

•Last, but not least, watch a handful of movies and submit a side I created for acting on screen class.

It’s a lot and somehow I’m supposed to fit a social life in this week as well. Time to get to work.

The Bane of My Existence

(Source: Chappelle Show, Comedy Central.)

For me, singing is unquestionably painful and I’m beginning to butt heads with one of my professors. Yesterday’s class was the worst. I didn’t want to go up to sing, my voice broke down, and I was bored with my song.

It’s not a self-consciousness thing (which is something they talk about in class), it’s the fact that I don’t care. Yes, more professional actors need to be able to sing now. However, like I said in my previous post, it’s not my passion or priority. The reason why I performed in the musicals I’ve been in is that they allow me to be ensemble with minimal singing and I like that.

The biggest problem that I’m having with the program in general is the fact that they are not really listening when I previously said that my priority is acting and not song. I’d rather play to my strengths and not my weaknesses. I can project my voice loudly for a piece of text. Give me Tennessee Williams, give me Shakespeare, I got you covered. Give me a solo song in a musical and watch me bomb horribly.

So now all of this vocal coaching is becoming drudgery because I’m getting admonished by my professor for not singing well; when I didn’t want to be in the class in the first place. I’m only here to complete the credits. If you want beautiful singing, look to one of your Star Students who actually give a damn.

10/10 Update

(Source: Facebook)

Let me start with the positives before venting:

•I managed to find a room for rent and my roommate is a really nice lady.

•Out of the 10 classes I’m taking, the 3 main acting ones are quite informative. I’m getting some education out of them.

•The director of a film that reached out to me over the summer, messaged me this morning and wants me to audition for the main supporting role. I will perform a video audition in a couple of weeks.

•I do have a friend here at school and get along better with my classmates.

Now for the not-so-good parts:

•I also found out this morning that working on acting gigs while in school is frowned upon and may actually get me dismissed from school. While I understand that the school wants you to focus on your training and not on work yet, it really doesn’t hurt to have some real world experience. My perspective is probably a little different since I’m in my mid thirties, I came to school as an already working (paid) actress, I’ve never been to drama school before (my previous degree was in Interactive Media Design and my school did not prevent me from taking a job in my related field), the acting classes I have taken previously had working actors in regular attendance. As long as it doesn’t disrupt my attendance, hinder my learning, or prevent me from turning in my coursework on time then it really should not be a problem. Plus my career is important to me. If an opportunity falls in my lap while I’m in school that I couldn’t possibly turn down, sorry not sorry, I’m taking it.

•Apparently I was registered for the class that I thought I had missed out on and could fail since the beginning of the semester. Of course no one in the school’s office bothered to tell me, even though we had a meeting to make sure we were on the same page about my schedule. Missing those weeks have put me into a serious bind as this is one of those classes that builds upon itself each week and I should have been there on day one to understand what the hell is going on. My semi-saving grace is that it is based on reading sheet music and I used to play the Alto and Baritone Saxophone. The downside is, that was over twenty years ago so my memory is incredibly fuzzy. Some things I remember, some things I don’t. Plus the course is taught in the European style of reading sheet music which is miles away from how I learned as an American. The descriptions of all of the symbols (aside from the ones written in Italian, which are universal) are completely different. So I still might fail the course which will be seriously upsetting since I did absolutely nothing wrong. But I’m just going to study really hard and hope for the best.

•Speaking of music: this particular school places higher priority on its music theatre program than they do their basic theatre program; which is what I’m in. A large portion of my classes are more devoted to music theatre which is not what I signed up for. The original course outline offered more business classes than music classes since being an actress is me running my own business. I have to market myself, manage my money, be able manage events relating to my industry, all in addition to acting. This doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t learn some music (it would make me more well rounded) but it’s not my passion. Yes, I do perform in musicals, yes I will perform in them in the future, but singing isn’t my strong suit. My voice is built to fill a theatre with spoken word (hence why I was a cheerleader).

I feel deep down in my gut, I was blocked from this last year for a reason. Now I feel like I’m in a bigger rut than I was at home. It’s becoming questionable whether this is all worth it in the end or am I just wasting my time and energy. I’m really struggling to make sense of it all right now.

Big Things In The Works!!!

(Taken Monday after my epiphany.)

While I was rambling on one of my Instagram stories (saved in the highlights) about one of the films we showed at work: I thought about vlogging film and television reviews. A friend of mine suggested I use a separate platform as to not disrupt my current social media brand. Well that sparked something.

Currently I have an active YouTube channel that I use specifically for self-tape auditions. Since those links are usually private, I don’t have other content posted for the public to view. Until now.

Posting reviews is hardly anything new and there is plenty of competition out there for me. However, I just want a platform to air my grievances at other people over what I should actually be doing myself…work in the film industry. That is the premise. You are going to watch an actress who is also trained in the technical side of film, bitch and complain about why the production was bad, while also praising what’s good about it.

Don’t expect it to be comedic. Comedy is a precious skill afforded to few and its not my forte. My biggest hope is that it’s relatable and informative. Just like my blog.

I’m excited aren’t you?

Second Chance

(Source: Sailor Moon, Toei Animation. Creator Naoko Takeuchi.)

Remember two weeks ago when I submitted my information to a high level mover and shaker in the industry? That gig they advertised has come and gone with me not working on it, but they advertised another casting call scheduled for this week.

As always, I strike while the iron is hot with this strike leading to some success! I got a call back for a live audition.

This gig may also not be for me, however, I will definitely be on their radar for any future project.

The other rumor about this individual…they may be able to represent talent. Ultimately that is my goal: to get representation, bigger parts, and more work. Wish me luck!

Manhattan Monologue Slam

(Source: Thespian Peacock Tumblr and Pinterest.)

I got a last minute invite to the Manhattan Monologue Slam. Believe it or not, I have never heard of this showcase until a couple of weeks ago. One of the background actresses I met on the set of Creed 2 was inviting a group of us to be a part of the Philadelphia branch of this project. They weren’t able to pull off the May start date like they wanted, so instead we were invited to the original in NYC.

They only give us 30 seconds of time to perform a monologue. If they like us, we can move on to a bigger event where we would perform a 1-2 minute monologue. Either way it is a good event to attend as there are agents, celebrities, casting directors, and a slew of creatives in the audience watching you. The event itself is great for networking.

My biggest hope is to perform the monologue all the way through. I chose a brief part from the play ‘Carmilla’ that I was in as that would be most comfortable for me. The last time I attempted to perform one, I bombed it and had a panic attack during my audition for ‘Twelfth Night.’……………………………………………………………Please Jesus, see me through this.

HAMLET AHHH!

(Source: Facebook.)

I’ve mentioned more than once that I have yet to see a live performance of Hamlet. Some good news was delivered to me, by way of Shakespeare Magazine, as they announced a new production of Hamlet at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.

This run with Ruth Negga as the lead, coincides perfectly with my move to Dublin. The tickets are a decent price too. My butt will be in a seat, late September for this production!

Kind of a Bum

(Photo taken today. Filter courtesy of Instagram.)

I have things going on, and yet I don’t have things going on. On the positive side:

• I got booked to work Tribeca Film Festival this year.

• I got a mentor to help me with my voiceover portfolio.

• I have two jobs at the pole studio and the movie theatre.

On the downside though:

• I haven’t been doing much performing.

Much of my depression, I believe, comes from the fact that I don’t feel like I’m doing enough; even though I’m doing plenty.

There are a couple of things coming up that I’m going to try to dip my toes into. First and foremost: Saturday Night Live has this Saturday and next where they will air an episode. I applied for this weekend, but if they don’t take me this weekend, I’ll definitely apply next weekend since I’m already going to be in NYC for Tribeca’s orientation. Also the community theatre in NJ (that I had the amazing ‘As You Like It’ audition, even though I didn’t get picked) is holding auditions for ‘Twelfth Night’. Which is funny, because I bombed the last ‘TN’ audition with Shakespeare in Clark Park, Philadelphia. Maybe I’m just supposed to try again with a different group. It would be earlier in the Summer, which is good, and in a very hip little town in Jersey. The only conflict is transportation, but I will figure something out.

Ultimately, I need to get out of this rut. Especially since it appears that most of my friends are working on various projects and shows (like Creed 2, which surprise, surprise…I didn’t get picked again 😏.) I don’t want to get into that jealous phase where I’m judging myself by another person’s highlight reel; so I really need to do something of my own soon. Even if the part is tiny, I don’t care. I want to be productive.

Do I Bother?

(Source: Beyond Scared Straight, A&E.)

It looks like Twitter is cleaning house by suspending accounts left and right. Even if you did nothing wrong, but have certain words arranged in a tweet, it can trigger an algorithm that will automatically suspend you. This is one of the social media outlets I have recently put more time into engaging with people. As you know, social media has become increasingly important for promoting yourself and your business.

The day may come, where my profile will trigger the algorithm, and I have to ask myself “is it worth saving?”

With everything that Twitter isn’t doing, like not suspending our “leadership’s” profile for serious violations. Barely, if at all, suspending accounts that target and harass others for speaking out; but God Forbid, you mention suicide.

*sigh*

The answer is probably No.

So what will I do from here? Probably focus on another platform and build that. Jack and Twitter are on the wrong side of history anyway.