Friday, 25 April 2014

The world is absurd

If only we all listened to my absurdist buddy, Genet. Half the problems of the world would cease to exist. So, really, who you callin' absurdist? 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Samuel Beckett - "Your Face" King

"Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

Samuel Beckett was an Irish playwright (1906-1989). He is known for his absurdist masterpieces such as "Waiting for Godot", "Endgame", "Krapp's Last Tape", "Rockaby", and so many more. 

If you have not read Beckett, your life is incomplete.

He speaks to the human soul in a way few playwrights can and have, and addresses our hopelessness in the most hopeful manner. Many feel Beckett's material emphasizes our existential despair in life - I say he celebrates it as what keeps us going, the flickering but ever present hope. 

He was controversial in interviews, saying things such as had he meant to imply God in "Godot", he simply would have named him that. That's a "your face" if I've ever heard one! To me he was an enigma wrapped in a mystery, but the feelings his works provoke in me speak volumes - I am not alone. We are not alone. Thank you, Samuel Beckett, for all you have contributed to the world of theatre, and the world at large. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

"There are no small parts"...

If you haven't seen the movie "Bigger Than The Sky", you've missed out on something beautiful. It's probably the most accurate portrayal of what amateur theatre is like. Or at least what it was like a lot of the time for me as a Theatre major in college. Those were the most amazing 4 years mainly because of my theatre family.

The laughter, the camaraderie, the antics, the trust, the tears, the drama, the beautiful friendships...

The movie is not that well known, and probably never made it big when it came out. It's one of those movies that may not have mass appeal, but I'm biased. It also gave me one of the most memorable quotes I have heard:

"There are no small parts, only small actors."

And, "There are no small parts, only small dreams. And the theatre is no place for small dreams."

Keep dreaming big, babies. 


I take the business of rehearsals very seriously, both as a theatre actress and a director. With time, I have slowly started to understand the subtleties that develop in your character work if you give it time to grow and develop. No character work happens overnight. You have to live with that other person for weeks before you can fully flesh them out, and live with the other characters in the cast as well.

As you become more experienced, you can shave off some time and steps in this process because your soul connects with the character, and finds a deeper empathy with other characters as well. That said, well executed and meaningful rehearsals give you a chance to stretch your legs as a character, try different choices, and make it work.

This saying can apply to most things in life, but it is especially poignant for the performing arts, where there is a constant process of fine-tuning, adjusting to new tech additions, costumes, sets, props, etc.

What are your favorite rehearsal stories? 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Your Face

I use the phrase "your face" a lot. A LOT. I find that it is as appropriate an answer as any, in any given situation. For instance, when your kid asks you, "Why...?" about every topic under the sun, and you're not up to giving logical answers anymore, "Because your face..." is perfectly acceptable, in the most loving way, of course.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I certainly love them more than other humans. I'm not sure if I've always been grumpy (there are some pictures of me as a baby looking fairly disgusted with life), or if my grump-factor is increasing with age, but I find increasingly that there is no hope for the human race. As someone who has to oversee a fairly active social network due to my job, I find that a number of the prolific commentators on public posts are pushing forth arguments that range from making no sense whatsoever to being downright offensive. It is in those moments when my urge to answer with a "your face" is at its peak.

It is not only consigned to moments of general flabbergasted abandon, though. "You face" is a state of mind I often enter into after lunch, when the sugar all rushes to my head and causes complete delirium, as noted by my colleagues. At which point, anything could prompt a "your face".

If I do say so myself, it is truly the most liberating phrase in the world. Let us bask in our "your face"ness, let us liberate ourselves from the shackles of imperfect communication, and let us embrace our inner grump with a touch of playfulness.

Welcome to your face. It is your face, after all.