December 28, 2006.
I’m learning about the Law of Attraction and will be experimenting with it this coming year to see how I can change my life to make it look the way I’ve imagined. I’ve always held part of myself and my dreams in reserve, making excuses for what I want as if I don’t deserve a certain kind of life or am foolish to even think of having it. I especially do this with acting. I hesitate to say that I am an actor or that I want to act or that I will be auditioning for a very specific role in the near future and that I see myself playing that role. People might pity for my delusional thinking and that’s why I don’t say exactly who I think I am.
I told my husband that my goal for the New Year was to gain some confidence. He said that I already had confidence but that I suppress it. He saw that I was a different person over the summer while acting in King Lear. He said that I had no defenses up, that I was intense and that I made no bones about my energy and intentions. I remember feeling that way and how good it felt. I felt as though I could do anything. Can’t wait to see what 2007 turns out to be.
July 6, 2006.
Pericles opens a week from today and King Lear the following week. Working to find a balance with Goneril so that she can be a human being and not a monster as she is typically portrayed. One of the actors came up to me the other night, after a scene between me and Lear, and said that it was the first time that she had ever felt sympathy for Goneril. So hopefully I’m on the right track.
Louis, my director, says that I must commit fully to each moment because Goneril has violent mood swings, just like her father, and the only way to play that is to dive in with very specific actions on each thought. He believes that if I commit equally to the good and the bad, that she will be human and that people will identify with her even if they don’t like what she does. I recently watched The Libertine with Johnny Depp and it helped to see how a great actor could create such a horribly fascinating character even though he says at the beginning, “You will not like me now. And you will not like me later. And I do not want you to like me.” Of course, we do like him by the end, in spite of everything.
One of the clues the text provides for me is a line where Goneril refers to her life as “hateful.” She’s aware of her wretchedness and of the wretchedness surrounding her. She behaves as she does because she sees no way out. Louis says the play is probably one of the most bleak and despairing things ever written; he sees many parallels between the action of the play and the violence and depravity that exists in our own time. He’s also decided to costume it completely in black and white, which should nicely compliment the starkness of the story.
I sometimes wonder where the redemption is but I suppose that the audience is meant to find that for themselves in their own reality. Perhaps part of Shakespeare’s genius is that he does not provide an answer, reason or hope. He presents a tragedy and allows the audience to finish or to change the events of the play by the way they live their own lives. It takes great faith and courage for an artist to tell the truth the way it is without making it easier to swallow. In The Libertine, an immoral and godless man finds, at last, a way to believe. Without the actor’s commitment to his character’s depravity in the first place, would his salvation have meant as much in the end?
March 6, 2006.
It’s nearly one in the morning. These are the lonely hours when I can’t sleep and I haunt my studio apartment trying to appease the meanderings and longings of my mind. Tonight we had to cancel our show for lack of reservations. Only in Los Angeles… we had an audience on Super Bowl Sunday but not on Oscar night. I was kind of happy not to miss the awards since I look forward to them all year. But I found myself watching the clock and thinking- now the house is open, now we’re half-way through Act One, now we’re just getting out of the theatre. I would really rather be doing it than watching other people who have done it.
I’m already feeling depressed because we only have two weeks left in the run. I realized the other day that I’ve spent nearly half a year working with this group of people. It’s been amazing. I was so nervous and intimidated in the beginning but now it feels like going home when I walk backstage and see those beautiful faces. I keep wondering where this experience is taking me. I’m obviously still smitten with acting but it wasn’t in the plan; I’m not sure what to do with it yet.
The review I was waiting for turned out to be positive, someone from the theatre asked Adam for my e-mail because they may have a project for me, and I might be working with my director again very soon; these are all good things. And then watching the Oscars made me ache to be filming my own stuff. I don’t know. I’m not sure where I’m going or how to get there- I just want this to be my life. I don’t want to keep returning to the desk jobs or grunt jobs to pay the bills.
I was thrilled to see Crash win tonight. This is a film that people either loved or hated and I can relate to that kind of response. I’m glad it got the recognition it deserved. It was lovely to hear Bird York sing her nominated song from the film and it pours through my brain now as I try to figure out my own artistic journey.
Now you’re out there spinning… Now you’re out there swimming… Now you’re out there spinning… In the deep…