I am Returning To The Stage
Updated: Feb 2, 2019
Welcome back after a long fifteen days. I have been on and off set, in rehearsals, ranking up auditions, modeling, getting into voiceover work, and networking. I can see my growth in just fifteen days as a person and as an artist, which is the coolest feeling.
Black Dog opens in just five days! Wow.
In just five days I will return to the stage after a full year. There is a reason I left the stage, but there is also a reason I returned to it. I prefer the type of acting film acting requires, it is a type of acting I feel I can deeper connect with. However, I have missed the organization of stage acting. The long rehearsals, the advance notice of performance, and the time you are given to explore the depths of your character. Within the rush and excitement of film work, oftentimes you don't have advance notice (months) as to when you will be performing, theatre, most of the time, gives you that time.
I am excited to close the play and move back onto film work but just as excited as I am to open it. The energy from the audience is an energy I have craved. It is said that film acting is a conversation observed but stage acting is a conversation engaged in. Both are true works of art; I am so thrilled to be a part of a community so immersed in art.
What Even is Black DogThis play is a work of art just in itself. It is one of the most real pieces of theatre I have read thus far. In the sense of the word, the play is four scenes long with each scene seamlessly flowing from one to the next. It is straight dialogue. A straight observation and engagement of true life. I, along with my castmates, have been able to step into this world and just breathe our genuine selves into it. There is nothing more freeing. The art of acting is not to hide, but to bare all. And wow, does this story due that. The play follows three characters over a 20-hour period. Angelica (me), Max (William Goblirsch), and Lucy (Liz Winkelhoff) go through a period of grief before grief kicks in. Following the religion of Judaism, the writer Rachel Linton thought heavily on the lives of those of Jewish faith during World War II, how it must be to grieve before the event-worth-grieving has come. This play explores just that.
How Does One Prepare For Such A Dark Play
Lots of humor. I, along with Liz and William have found the lines in the play that are more playful and we played those lines with the truest happiness we could find. There is a Yin and a Yang in every life. With grief, there can be utter joy, even if for a second. We have learned not to take ourselves too seriously and every rehearsal we try a new variation and a new way to brighten a scene with still maintaining a state of complete openness of spirit to any jab in the heart we may feel or any knot in our throat. The darkness my character, Angelica, discovers, is a darkness I am blessed to not know in my personal life. Giving her experience justice has been difficult. I don't want to succumb to a substitution but rather a relation of some sort. An empathy. An understanding. Deep and deep and deeper research to uncover the exact moment she is going through and how she could possibly feel, breathe, walk.
The Rehearsal Process
This rehearsal process has been different than most I have experienced. The rehearsal run was just about eight rehearsals long. Opening night is creeping up on me more than I have expected. Getting off-book was a struggle due to the limited time I had to engrain the muscle memory I need for lines when performing on stage, so my film side came out when getting those lines down! As I am becoming more trained, I have found the aspects of these two worlds: Stage and Screen, that intermingle with one another. Unlike most film crews, this arrangement was small and personable. It was inspiring to work with such a small cast, a cast of just three people. Including the cast, there were only eight people involved to make this production what it is today. Each rehearsal was about four hours long in the nighttime so staying on task was a bit more of a challenge! However, the times on-task and off were the times we all got to bond. Theatre is a true community.
The Community of Theatre
I have found that at times Film can be more of an industry whereas Theatre is the community. Both come and go, in one and out the other, but because of the rehearsal periods, I have found this, in this point of my life, to be true. One rehearsal, when we were much ahead schedule, we got off topic and talked about pie. For like an hour. Just pie. Keep in mind that not once is pie mentioned in the play. After rehearsal, I drove everyone to get pie. And we ate pie. It was great. We have a group chat. It's titled, "Milk Questions" (Come to the show to see why). We pull pranks on each other, we've got locked out of our rehearsal location numerous times, and we just have a great time. Actors are so supportive of one another due to our deep connection to empathy, discovery, and creativity. Perhaps that's the real thing that draws me to this art. The play in itself is being performed in a community.
Performing in A Community
Black Dog is being performed at the wonderful Charm City Fringe Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. The seventh annual fringe festival the city has seen. How exciting! The line-up is huge and full of so many generous artists, ranging from one-man shows to musicals. The Charm City Fringe Festival hosted a preview for all artistic acts last night and once I entered that performance space I felt the energy of hearts beating for art. People came around with great smiles and introduced themselves, no one was short of genuine. To perform in such a collaborative community is to perform with support. Support I am blessed to have. I was truly blessed to be cast in this show and I am so glad to be able to say I will perform at the famous Charm City Fringe Festival.
Black Dog will be performing:
At the Downtown Cultural Arts Center. Tickets are just $15! If you'd like to know more about this beautiful, heart wrenching, joy-giving play, feel free to hit the link below to get your tickets. I would love to see you all there. Not just for me, but for the amazing production team that put this all together, and the beautiful story that will be told.
After plenty of blog posts talking about Black Dog, I figured I'd let you know a little bit about what it is! Have a great weekend y'all! I am aiming to post a blog sometime right after the show closes! I already have some ideas sketched out for the next blog, but if there is anything specific you may want me to share or you may want to hear about, let me know in the comments below!