Glacier National Park 2010

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving Along My Path

Whoosh! What a week! I've been focused on trying to get my apartment organized....ha!.....those who know me will understand that I've tried to become more organized all my life! Because I find so many things interesting, I have a multitude of plastic storage bins in varying sizes to hold supplies for whatever project has captured my attention.  Let it be said that I eventually finish the projects.....eventually being the key word.  It only took me two years to complete my son's crocheted blanket in his university colors. That is progress, right?

While trying to make sense of my chaotic spare room which until yesterday looked more like a giant storage closet....I've also been trying to educate myself on the finer points of acting in a film.  Although I've had years of experience on stage and feel fairly comfortable is somewhat different.  So I've had to replace all that knowledge about projection, movement, and rules of performance.  Very subtle movements speak volumes on film I'm told, as do facial expressions and the pace of the dialogue.

Then there is the subject matter of our film....Alzheimer's Disease and the impact it has on the patient and all those around them.  Our director has been diligent in his research and has shared much of what he has discovered.  Becoming more knowledgeable about this disease has helped me to begin to develop a character who is believable, which I feel is crucial to the success of the film.

I share this because many believe that those involved in a play or a film simply show up, "act" the part and go home.  For myself, that is far from the truth. If one is unfamiliar with the subject matter or the type of person they are portraying, their portrayal can appear stilted or like a caricature.  Once I'm cast in a role that character is in my head 24-7.  Once I've learned my lines, I work on the inflections and pacing, all the while trying different vocal inflections and adding gestures and movements until, at least in my mind, I am that character!

Its funny but someone once asked me what I liked about acting....then, as now, I like the thought of becoming someone else, at least for a little while. For me, it can be likened to going on holiday from the life I live, my personality, everything that is wrapped up in being me.......once the play or film is complete, I go happily back to the comfort of the familiar. Having been someone else for a while, I appreciate what I have and I think, in a way, it makes me more sensitive to those around me.

Do I dream of becoming a famous film star? No, not really. For me it is enough to have the chance to try new things, to know I'm not too old to learn, and to realize there are always adventures waiting for those who are ready to try them.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A New Adventure

Its been such a busy summer so far....and looks as if the hectic pace will continue.  I spent a lovely three days relaxing in Mobile with my bestie...lots of laughter, a few tears....when two people have been people have been friends as long as we have, there are lots of memories to talk about and relive.  Most of them have been very good but, as with life, there are sad, heart wrenching times as well. I'm just grateful to have someone in my life who sometimes knows me better than I know myself.

I am at that certain age when my past is much, much longer than my future will be.  When one gets to this point it is easy to think the time for new adventures is coming to a close.  As a youngster, one feels invincible....there isn't anything one can't do! But as one ages and the body...and mind...slow becomes easier to simply think of the things not done, not tried. This week I found that the old saying about old dogs and new tricks may not necessarily be true!

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail asking me if I might be interested in auditioning for a part in a short film. The director had seen my work in a stage production several years ago and thought I might be right for a role.  Having never done any film work, I was a bit hesitant. I mean, after all I knew nothing about movie making! But the actor in me said, "give it a shot!" So I said sure I'd like to audition. Almost immediately I was assailed with a case of nerves and doubts about my acting abilities......negative self-esteem rearing its nasty head again. But I confronted my dragon of doubt and decided this would be an excellent learning experience. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I was emailed the lingo....I needed to be familiar with for the screen test....more movie lingo.  MoMe helped me learn the lines....and I dug into the whys and how's of who this character was, trying to bring her to make her real, not just words on a page. Want to know a little secret? Bringing her to life brought ME to life!

Long story short.....I auditioned for two roles actually....and then waited. I'm not certain how many people actually read for the role. It doesn't really matter. The next day I received a phone call asking if I would take the role of the female lead! Would I?!?! To say I was overcome with emotions is an soon as I hung up the phone I burst into tears.  Although I had told myself that just being asked to audition was enough, deep inside I wanted that part desperately.

For me, it was a validation of sorts. Those who know me understand how much I love where I do hasn't given me many opportunities to pursue that love....but when opportunities arose I took them.....didn't matter if I was the lead or someone in a crowd scene....I gave it my all!

To be chosen for this film said, you may be older but you still have the ability to grow and learn and experience new things! And I needed to be assured of that, especially at this moment in my life. This old dog still has a few tricks to learn!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Value of Little Things

It is a cloudy, rainy day. Amazingly it is cool enough to have the windows and doors open....which anyone who has ever lived in the South knows is a rare occurrence in the summertime.  By this point in June we usually see temperatures in the mid and upper 90's with a heat index which adds misery to every occasion not including a swimming pool. 

I haven't blogged much since school much to do! Finally finished the tree mural to the satisfaction of the client.  During that process I learned much about myself.  For one, I will not assume I can't take on a painting project of any size and magnitude. And I also won't say there are things I cannot paint....the cute little owl in the tree will attest to that.  I had nightmares about painting the requested creature....but when it came down to it, I managed.  It wasn't perfectly lifelike but it fit into the somewhat whimsical scene quiet nicely.

Because of said project, I've decided I quite enjoy painting...even though I have much to learn about the process.  Now my plan is to undertake developing my skills and my style by painting images I enjoy.....images which make me smile. It is like I tell my students about their writing, if you like what you write that is all that matters!

There are lots of projects I want to start...and finish...while I'm on summer break.  I also want to travel a bit....not far or for very long because I'm still on a very strict budget....but I need to renew my thoughts and ideas.  Seeing new places...meeting new people...all serve to give me more to ponder, to write about.  As I am on a journey to discover who I am and what I am capable of, staying cooped up in my tiny apartment tends to narrow my thinking and cramp my creativity.  And we cannot have that!

Until I win the lottery or become a famous writer or will let short trips to unknown destinations refuel my think tank.  One thing I've learned over the past year is that small pleasures have as much value to me as large, extravagant ones.  Each new day is filled with opportunities and possibilities.....and of course, experiences for which I am thankful.