Today is my final day in the role of the Intern here at Boston Court. Sad face, sad life. But also a happy day, for I brought cupcakes to the Court (and we all know that when cupcakes are at Boston Court, it’s automatically a good day). While I am eager to get back to school and continue my training, I will deeply miss the Boston Court staff and community. I’m glad that I discovered Boston Court this summer because it really is a gem of a theatre. I will not, however, miss being called an assortment of names that were not “Kelsey” throughout my time here… namely Chelsea, Kiki, Keeks, Keekster, KelKel, Casey, Intern, and Izzy to name a few.
So for my final blog entry, I’ve decided to leave you with some parting words about my generation, for another Intern from my generation will soon replace me come June 2013. And so on and so forth.
Timing’s such a funny little creature, isn’t it?
I attended the opening night production of The Government Inspector, and, having seen the show already twice before during previews and rehearsals, I had prepared myself for a show that would be changed once again, whether it be in its script, staging, lighting, etc. I just wasn’t expecting to be completely blown away by the completely tighter production than I had seen before. The show had changed again! But this time, the change was the timing. They nailed the timing and the focus of the play, and the play beautifully became the play it was supposed to be.
Timing can make, or break, any event. Really truly.
As an actor, I’ve always wondered what it is like to be on the other side of the table during auditions, and what goes on after you walk out of the room and the doors close. Well recently, I got a chance to sit in on an audition process, and the entire process was fascinating to witness. While I won’t mention any specifics of the audition itself, I would say that there is a fundamental lesson that was really hammered into me (with good reason) by observing this process – one that an actor should get a refresher on every so often.
Hey everyone… sorry for the [extreme] lateness in this blog post, but I truly honestly did not know what to write about for this entry. I couldn’t find any theatrical-related incidents happening in the world that I felt overly excited to share with you or give my opinion on. I didn’t want to potentially bore you with an awesometacular entry that documented how I REALLY like to paint (which is very true. I really like to paint. And I got to do that last week here). I was at a loss, I had run into that very familiar mental wall that is universally known as “writer’s block”. And there I stayed for a good week, poking at this “writer’s block” wall in my mind in an attempt to make it just go away.
Then I had one of the biggest arguments (or very heated debate, if you will) of my life just last week. And lo and behold, I found my blog entry.
I happen to have some very poor luck with timing; after visiting family up in the San Francisco bay area in June, I found out that in May a spectacular little show had graced the San Francisco International Arts Festival with its presence. The show is called White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and is written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. And if I had been up in the bay area at the time this show was up, I definitely would have gone to see it.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is an interesting theatrical creature. Soleimanpour is not permitted to leave Iran; in refusing to do military service for Iran, Iran has refused to give Soleimanpour a passport. Thus, Soleimanpour wrote a play that would be able to travel the world without him: a play that requires no director, no set (save for a chair, table, and two glasses of water), and a different actor for each performance. There are no rehearsals, no techs, no design meetings. The actor is handed the script at the beginning of the performance, and the experience begins.
The other night, while sitting in on a rehearsal for The Government Inspector, the director, Stefan Novinski, shared an interesting tidbit about directing that he was implementing more and more into his directing process. He said, whenever an actor asks the director a question about their character, the actor will usually have an opinion already. Instead of answering with a straightforward answer, the answer to the question should be, “I don’t know; what do you think?” The actor is then ready to present their view to the director.
To me, this approach to directing enforces the universally-accepted belief that theatre is a collaborative art, and allows it to remain collaborative between the actors and the production staff without the fear of total autonomy from one side or the other.
Coming at this from an actor’s perspective, if a director asks me for my opinion first before stating his or hers, I feel that my opinion is valued as an artist, and that I have the director’s trust to take the character where I feel is right for the play. It’s reassuring to me to have that permission to keep exploring and keep bringing new ideas to the rehearsal. In an art form that relies on collaboration in almost all aspects – production meetings, designing, casting, choosing material to produce, etc. – it’s comforting to me, as a young actor, to see that collaboration between the actors and directors is valued and respected. It motivates and encourages me to bring more ideas and questions to my directors in future productions.
I’ve had a blast sitting in on the rehearsals for The Government Inspector; it’s great seeing the show come together and develop so quickly. I cannot wait to check back in soon and see how much more the production has grown.
Until next time!
By the time I had entered into high school, I had a strong understanding that I knew I was going to major in either acting or musical theatre in college. I had my future plan in mind. As for my classmates, they were still mostly on the fence about what they wanted to do with their life (and quite honestly, some still are (and that’s perfectly fine). I’d see some of the students at my school perform, and be completely blown away by their honest and amazing performances. I would talk to them afterwards and ask if they were thinking of pursuing a career in theatre, and the varied answers I would recieve astounded me. The vast majority of classmates that I talked to stated that they had never even contemplated a career in theatre, it was just something they did after school. I eventually came to realize that this was the response I would receive because schools tend to paint theatre and arts in a light that shows them as only extracirriculars or hobbies. Theatre 360, formerly known as Pasadena Junior Theatre, was what showed me that I could make a living in the arts, and that theatre was so much more to me than just an extra-cirricular activity to put on college applications.
A few days ago, I was browsing the Apple Trailers website to see which, if any, movies that were soon to be released would be worth watching. I was mildly unimpressed by the general selection (although I will admit that Polisse looks phenomenal), until I found a trailer for a project called Frankenstein. At first, I thought that it was a trailer for another film rendition of the classic Mary Shelley novel. However, when I started watching the trailer, I saw it wasn’t a trailer for a movie at all – it was a trailer for a theatrical production.
National Theatre Live is re-releasing, in movie theaters around the world, a live recording of Royal National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein, adapted by Nick Dear and directed by Danny Boyle (Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire).
I looked into this newly-discovered phenomenon of theatre on the big screen, and found that the program of National Theatre Live, run by the Royal National Theatre in London, started in 2009, with the live screening of Phedre, starring Helen Mirren, in 70 cinemas in the UK. The current number of cinemas that screen these theatrical recordings has, so far, reached about 700 venues worldwide, including 326 venues in the United States.
I am fascinated by this idea. Absolutely fascinated.