Friday, February 22, 2013

Off With His Hair!

Hey Abyss,

This week has blazed by; we do our first performance of The Seagull on Tuesday.

I cannot believe it.

I am really excited to see how it goes. Things have been really great for me, personally, this week. I have had a lot of epiphanies and it has made my trajectory a lot more clear.

I have finally received a mentor, who does the actual job of mentoring me. As well as being surrounded by throughly supportive teachers that have seen what I am capable of and what is holding me back as an artist. With the advice from these people over the last two weeks I have been uncovering a lot about my process and who I am/want to be in the classroom.

Sometimes we need to be shown our faults, so that we can make them our assets.

I am still learning how to stay in the unknown/confusing aspects of my education, but it is a difficult thing to do. I know that by me being resilient and forcing myself to accept challenges on a daily biases, I will become stronger in my craft.

Working with Tanja Jacobs has been great. She has challenged me in a lot of ways and also allowed me to do the things that I am good at, a nice combination. Although looking back I wish I had allowed myself to be challenged more rather than receding into the work that fulfils me at the moment. She is a wonderful actress, and is really direct, which is what I need. As I tend to be a procrastinator, and skate around what actually needs to be done, and awful habit to have in school.

I have also found myself being two types of performers: There is "School Wayne" and "Life Wayne" and they both are part of me, but I need "Life Wayne" to combine with "School Wayne" to make the most out of my education.

I sound absolutely crazy, but essentially "School Wayne" is lazy and more concerned with social aspects. Whereas "Life Wayne" is a driven, focused but practical actor. And so basically these two need to fuse like a Yu-Gi-Oh Card.

As for the title tonight, I am shaving my head. Its for my role in The Seagull, but it has been a while since I have done it and I am slightly nervous heading into it, sorry for the pun. Below is all I need to make this night a success.

So, I am going to proceed with that and will be posting the before and after pictures to my Tumblr and Twitter!

Night Abyss. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Oatmeal Cookies and Almond Milk?

Hey Abyss,

Today was the end of the second week of rehearsals for The Seagull that Tanja Jacobs is directing for our first studio performance at The National Theatre School of Canada. It is still a text exploration and not as high tech as the third year shows are, but it is exciting knowing that we are working towards a show that is open to the public! We are performing the last week of February, right before March Break.

The contrast of how slow and fast the weeks go by never ceases to amaze me.

Yet the cold winds never stop blowing. Montreal weather is the pits.

Rehearsal is going well, it has been a very active week which was a nice change from all the table work we had been doing. It is true what Tanja said though," We will know the play much better after spending so much time excavating it".  We have been delving into a lot more character work this week which is my preferred area and I have been throughly enjoying discovering who these people are beyond what is written.

My favourite part of putting a show together is getting acquainted with all the new people we are playing. It's like going to a party, for lack of a better analogy. I love the transformation that happens over the course of rehearsal. Or in any process for that matter. I absolutely adore the aspect of sinking into a character and becoming one unified mass. It teaches me so much about myself, not just as an artist and my range as an actor (when I do it well), but as a person and what my facets are in my waking life. I always find the process of character development very informative.

So needles to say, this week has been fun.

I bought a ticket to the Mrs. Carter World Tour ( today, which will be taking place in July here in Montreal and I am stoked. I am going by myself, but am not worried because I can guarantee that I will not be the only one having a good time. Seeing Beyonce and Prince live are two of the things I need to do before I die. I am scratching this concert off my bucket list and also cannot delve into any extracurricular expenses for the next 5 months, which includes any food but rice and beans.


I am teaching in Ottawa this summer as well as my home town, and so there will be much travelling. I hope that I can book some work in Halifax this summer so that I am not completely broke for the first two months of the summer break. That is all very far in the future now, so it is best not worry about it. I have a good feeling about how this year is turning out and cannot wait to see what unfolds for me as a student, and performer in the next little bit.

I feel very blessed.

I am now going to watch Mad Men and read from The Art of Manliness book and teach myself how to bring the classy back.

Night Abyss

Sunday, February 3, 2013

50 cents and the Super Bowl.

Hey Abyss,

It is Sunday, which means that I have a number of things to do. Namely homework, laundry and cleaning the rest of my apartment. I have this tenancy to only clean my bathroom and living area, and avoid my kitchen completely. I am not entirely sure why I do this, perhaps I will come to the conclusion one day.

I also need to accomplish these things before the Super Bowl starts at 6:30, so this will be a challenge in itself.

Oh, and I need to find 50 cents before I can do all of my laundry.


Yes I just did that.

This week has been an interesting one. I have a tenancy to anticipate a lot in my life. I think of all possible outcomes of situations and usually like to endow new experiences with excitement. Unfortunately most times my ideas of how situations will play out is not exactly how they do.

We started rehearsal on The Seagull with Tanja Jacobs this week, and it has been different than I anticipated.

Not bad, just different.

We have spent the last 6 days doing explorative table work, which Tanja kept reminding us is really effective in knowing the script inside and out. It was interesting because I have never spent that amount of time simply writing down facts and questions. But she is right, I feel like I know the content of the play very well now. The hardest part of this week was not delving into my developing process, which is very character based, instead it was mostly spent reading and writing.

I now see the value in this process, and understand that the beauty of the school is that every person that works with us is going to bring something new and we have the option to carry that through our lives as actors or abandon it completely. We are consistently filling our utility belt as young performers and we get to build a process for ourselves with the tools that we have been given. I also have to take into account that regardless of what process I develop for myself, depending on the director I may work with, I will have to change it to accommodate their desires.

A hard pill to swallow when I am still figuring out what works for me.

As time goes on at the school, I figure out what contributes to good acting and makes actors strong. The school is filled with people who are talented. But its finding out how to use your talent in the strongest way possible which comes through in a variety of ways. Second semester, this year, has been showing me how hard you have to work behind the scenes to bring it on the day. This "working" aspect is something that I am relatively bad at, and so the opportunity to explore different ways to jump in has been challenging but exciting.

Things are still very early in the process of The Seagull, so I may have more details down the road. For now this is what I have been thinking about. I am off to find some quarters and clean my bathroom again in avoidance of my dishes.

Night Abyss