This past weekend I had an opportunity to see three VERY different professional shows. Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck at the City Theatre, My Dinner with Bambi by Randy Lewis at the Ground Floor Theatre, and Chicago touring with Broadway Across America.
I had a rare experience deep inspiration (we're talking "speechless" kind of deep) watching Bianca Marroquin in Chicago. Sign me up, zen buddha master! Teach me your ways. She was a PERFECT study of comedy, timing, gentility, power, and grace on that stage. I couldn't take my eyes off of her- ESPECIALLY in her quietest moments. To have that kind of command and power in a performance is something I dream about and strive for, but is it something that can be learned? Or is it something you're born with? Ugh. I'm dying just THINKING about it again.
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about stretching and working out my muscles- creative and physical. My hobby is circus- specifically silks and lyra.
I've just started doing reformer pilates as a form of cross training for my Lyra work. There are certain muscles that don't get excercised by just circus-ing around. As much as I've resisted actual working out working out, the time as come. I've never had the focus and tunnel vision real athletes tout.....and then I realized that maybe that's my problem.
That focus (or lack thereof!) rolls over into my work as a performer and really gives me a lot of clarity into my mindset in an audition room. Meditation never worked for me in yoga- I'm too easily distracted. Because I'm such a people watcher, I'm more fascinated by the people around me in the audition waiting rooms than the work that needs to be happening in my mind and soul.
Apparently focus is something that can be excercised like a muscle. But as an actor- how do you excercise it every day? How do you throw your 100 free throws with your eyes closed? How do you get that tunnel vision when you don't have something to work on?
Should I be working on memorizing poems and monologues weekly? Should I be creating mock-auditions to self-tape? Outside of class work, how do I excercise my abilities to go beyond intuition and inspiration?
Bottom line, I keep working, I guess. Then maybe one day soon I'll get to perform with Bianca and learn some lessons from my new zen-master.