The vill

In Artists, Fun, Games, humeurs, Irish Mist, Music, Revision, Sanford Meisner, Theater on October 10, 2014 at 7:35 am

I doubt I’ll ever be a good actress. I’m not taking the improv classes to that end. Still, I hope I’ll get better at the game than I am right now. Stage fright is no longer a concern – singing in the group has taken care of that. Self-consciousness is more of a problem i.e. letting go of the every day persona; leaving her in the wings and juggling the different (and often contradictory) demands of stage work. Maintaining voice level, no matter what emotion is involved. Playing the three-way pingpong – audience, self, partner. Placement on stage. Most of all: leaving the every day one in the wings.

Obvious differences between stage work and writing. The immediate presence of others, for one. The immediacy, period. Whether I spend two minutes or two hours on getting a bit of dialogue right isn’t a problem if, on the page, the dialogue reads as if it were a spontaneous exchange. Not so on stage. Eh. As I said: obvious. Which isn’t a synonym for easy.

As much as I would love  to feel light-hearted and funny these days, I don’t. I become aware of it on stage whereas the rest of the time, the heaviness of spirit feels so natural, I don’t notice it all that much. I don’t walk around with a black cloud above my head – at least, the way people react to me doesn’t suggest that. We laugh, joke, banter, solve problems, get things done, and so on. It’s more of an undertow – there, like an invisible presence. Hey there. Hey. Howzit going? Eh, you know. Yeah. Yeah, I know.

And so on. However. Things to do, a blessing even the ones that leave me feeling as if my eyeballs are hanging out at the end of their sprung springs. Such as at the end of yesterday’s final coaching session. But hey: if one eleven year-old girl can get the hang of 8+1, a seven-year old boy will – yes, he will – get over his panic at the sight of written words saying: Read Me. P….p…Ruh…Rahdo…R…em… R, Ruben. R just like in your name. Then….those two letters stuck together. What do they sound like?


You must have the vill,Barenboim says during a master class for pianists. The will. Forget about the mortgage, or the rent, or the car breaking down, the medical, the vet, the argument, the fun you’d have if only, if only. Leave all that in the wings. Play. Write.

mamma mia. Three two one. 


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