Friday, June 08, 2012

The Anticipation

Sometimes, it's hard for an artist to decide where to go next. Sometimes, though, a few simple factors make the decision easy.

Writing-wise, it's a clear decision: Get on with writing the books!  My three-book series is called The Price of Legend, and that's what I should be spending my writing time on, definitely. Why, even my blog posts, I tell myself, have suffered. That's a lame excuse, since some of my best author friends still find time to put an entry up on their blogs on a very regular basis. Perhaps I'm just lazy. Really, though, my problem is that I write entries that are too long (see below for copious examples). "Economy of words", I keep telling myself (as do others).

See? I digress already.

However, this isn't about writing or music; this post is about acting (and singing, as well as playing an instrument). How do actors decide what roles and productions to chase after? Is there method to the madness, as well as the acting? What motivates us, other than the money we crave so desperately yet get paid so little of?

The answer to that depends on who you ask, of course. Different people are motivated by different things, and I have my own set of criteria. Some people will do anything just for the sake of the work. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but I'm more particular about what I choose to audition for, since I have to limit my activities onstage these days in order to make progress in other areas (Note to self: Get on with writing the books!). A lot of my theatre friends get all the information about every theatre's upcoming season across the region and concoct a fiendish plan about what they hope to do, and what roles they'd like to play. This is also fine, and I used to do the same thing. The Master Plan, replete with Plans B and clever alternatives. But I don't do that anymore, and don't necessarily even think a full year ahead like that.

So what am I looking for?

I am most attracted to the hardest thing I can find; the biggest mountain to climb, the thing I've never done before, or something that makes a real statement. Sure, if it's Shakespeare, you can count on me to show up; but at this point in my life, I want something more than I've done before. Particularly, I'm a little tired of comedy. Being funny is great, but I need other genres in which to express myself, too. I want to do different things, and not get into a rut. Since I'll only have time for about four productions in a year (and one of them is a regular gig that's non-negotiable), something has to leap out at me to make me really want to do it. The only real exception to that is an opportunity to work with especial friends on a project. That might attract me into auditioning for something that I might not pick right off the bat (like another comedy). What I most crave is challenge and originality.

On rare occasions, all these things intersect, and I have the wonderful opportunity to work on something special with close friends on whom I can depend to share the quest for excellence that I try to maintain for myself in everything I do (Why else bother?).

Just such a production came up this last March, and I found myself looking forward to auditioning for it and doing it for more than half a year. In my next posts, I'll tell you more about it, from the beginning to the end (which, in its own fashion, has not yet come).

(Thanks, Susan Wingate, for suggesting this series!)

Today, an interview with me was posted on the Indie Author Network blog. You can read it by clicking HERE

My thanks to Paula Shene for the opportunity!