For a long time I have believed the key to being a truthful actor is being comfortable with uncomfortableness. I didn't understand the importance of that statement until I started college. This week has been incredible with impossible highs and gut-wrenching lows.
I started this week with an unbelievable opportunity, I was able to attend Alex Sharp's final performance of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time." Now for those of you that are not Broadway Buffs, Alex Sharp won his first Tony Award this year, at the age of 26 I might add, for best actor in a play. Now obviously this award caused my friends and I to expect a phenomenal performance, but there are no words to describe the emotional roller coaster that was that show. One moment I would sob and seconds later jubilant laughter would pour out of me. The actors in that show breathe as one unit, and provide a machine-like beauty to the overall aesthetic of the show. With astonishing technical components, the stage literally disappears at times, a lighting design that fits the overstimulating theme of the show perfectly, and sound work and music that matches every moment in the piece with an insanely realistic feel, it is absolutely the most polished production I have ever experienced. However, the true refinement of the piece can easily be found within each actor on the stage. With hearts beating together they conquered the impossible task of allowing the audience to go inside the head of a child with symptoms of autism and Asperger syndrome. Alex Sharp perfected a new ideology for playing characters with disabilities. Suffice it to say, I highly recommend this production if you are ever in New York.
After seeing such an inspiring show I began this week with a full heart and a new hunger for hardmwork. This fire inside was only intensified by my spectacular and gorgeous ballet teacher, Ms. Mary Barton. With ease she out dances the rest of the girls. She pirouettes with breathtaking grace and her extensions casually reach above her head, despite her protestations of "not being the dancer she used to be." She is a firecracker of a woman with the kindest touch. She is consistently encouraging in every critique she offers. I am already learning so much from her about the abilities of my body. I cannot wait to come home and share new tips with my girls. The teacher who truly bewilders me is my acting teacher, Meade. The woman literally has magic in her fingertips. A light touch from her will release all the tensions in your body. Learning from her is like breathing in positive air and exhaling all the negativity. Somehow I still find myself overwhelmed with the idea of acting. I have constant anxiety over performing in her class. I visibly shake every time she calls names for who will perform. i'm absolutely petrified, but something inside tells me that I'm going to succeed with her. I'm certainly not the most accomplished student, but I'm sure that the progress I will make this semester will surprise everyone, especially me. She sees truth as an art form the way I do. Playing a character truthfully can only be done by releasing one's true self and allowing someone else's story to be told. Her class is a kind of terror that transforms into exquisite fascination.
I was fortunate to meet my new voice teacher this week, Mrs. Lauren Atley-Janka. Her internal resemblance to my high school theatre teacher, Angee Hallmark, is baffling. She has already given me thirteen songs she wants to sing!! Frankly, I loved her immediately, she talked about Mac make-up with me for goodness sakes! She is the perfect mixture between sweet and firm. I know I will do well under her direction! I'm pumped for our lessons to truly begin so that I can make new discoveries in my voice.
At the end of a full week, I had my first audition at Rider. I auditioned for the staged reading of "The Last Days of Pompeii" a new musical. My auditions went well; I was even asked to sight read for the lead role! It was a relatively low stress audition, but I'm so thankful to be done with my first audition here. It seems no matter how hard we all try, our mindsets are still encompassed in the misery of college auditions. Everyone is afraid to let their guard down in order to accept we really did get in to an amazing program. I hope that as time passes we won't be such an anxious bunch anymore.
I finished the official week with a lovely Saturday off. I did laundry-nothing shrunk or changed colors!- and had a lovely afternoon to myself. That evening I had dinner, and ICE CREAM, in Princeton with seven other MT freshman girls. We were really lucky to have time to do some girl bonding and get to know everyone a little better. Our adventure in Princeton was a much needed escape from being confined to campus; not to mention the luxury of having real food, we ate at an authentic asian restaurant, after eating at Daly's (the cafeteria) for weeks. I'm really thankful for the beautiful souls inside each one of these girls. I know I have people to turn to when college gets a little to hard.
I cannot really explain the sensation of missing home terribly, while feeling like I'm where I belong. Everyday it feels a little bit harder to be away from mom and dad, and the Camille-size hole in my life just seems to get bigger and bigger, but I also feel the growth of friendships all around me. These people are life-changing for me, my heart could explode with an anxious excitement for everything that is coming.
Tu Me Manques, McKenna