Sunday, May 01, 2005

Back Home

All went about as well as could be expected on the shoot. You hope you gave the client what they wanted, and you keep hoping they'll specifically say so, but the fact of the matter is that nearly everyone has their mind on something other than your performance, including the director usually. (It took me several gigs before I caught onto that one actually.) Basically, if they don't seem to be getting frustrated at you, and they eventually say they got it and move on, I figure you've done your job. To expect anything more is just a fragile ego talking.

Saturday I had a first read-through for this play I've committed to. Always interesting to look back on early impressions and early promises and see what actually panned out, so — for the record — I like all my fellow cast members at first glance, and the writer/director doesn't seem to be prone, as near as I can tell, to the stereotypical pitfall of being a "writer/director", i.e., valuing his own script over the production of it.

As far as early promises go, tentative plans call for an 8-9 week production at an extremely reputable venue in Chicago, then 2 weeks at a stage complex in an outlying area, followed by 4 weeks out of state. We'll see how much of that pans out and, if it does, how much money will trickle down to the actors. Pardon me for being mercenary about that last part, but one of the best experiences I've ever had theatrically was this killer lead I had in a well-known show that ran for 6 weeks in Chicago several years ago and then toured Europe — at a final cost to Yours Truly of about $5,000. I'd be lying if I didn't say I loved the experience, but it figured heavily in my coming to realize that I could call myself an actor all I wanted, but I wouldn't be able to call myself "professional" unless I was actually able to make a living at it. Looking back on it now, I have to say that was a good thing to realize; my life (and my art) have been better for it since.

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