One more year around the sun

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Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn thirty-shmshsmsmmshshsmmmmm. A lady never tells. Except if you can do math, I'm sure you'll figure it out by the end of this post. :)

I closed a show this weekend and got myself ready for the next one and a photo shoot this week. The show I'm working on is a remount of a production I did ten years ago. I had just graduated from college and it was the first Vortex show I ever did.

The confluence of these events are making me think pretty hard about who I was at 23 heading into 24. What kind of actor I was (and thought I was). How I approached a role, and how that's changed.

I had just graduated from college, and I had all this theory floating around in my head. I think it's taken me about 10 years of working to really sort through it and figure out what works for me and what doesn't. I remember taking an acting class with Michael Costello and him chiding me about not listening to a fellow actor. My response (embarassingly enough) was 'He's not giving me anything!' He looked at me and said, 'He's giving you plenty, you're just not listening.'

Yeah, that was defintely true of younger me. It's something I struggle with and continue to work on. Being present, actively listening, and responding truthfully. It sounds so easy but for me it's been deceptively hard. I'm wondering if it's true about people in general. We spend a lot of time in everyday conversation putting the things people say through the filter of what we'd like to hear. I try to put that aside when I'm on stage and in real life nowadays. It has really deepened my personal relationships as well as helped me in my craft.

Pythia Dust is a fun show to remount, but it does make me feel my age. I look at video of myself dancing and singing for an hour, and boy, I was athletic! I still am, just in a curvier way. But it makes me proud that I can still rock out in high heels and spandex singing rock and roll love songs and make it through the show without falling over. Go figure.

At 24, I was still working out who I was and what I wanted to do. I can't honestly say that I know all those answers, but I am ok with where I'm at and the person I am at this moment. I don't have to know all the answers, because what fun is that? It's the figuring things out that's the fun part. I work for a wonderful arts organization, I get to make my living at least partially by acting, and I live in the most wonderful city in the south - Austin!

All in all, my thirties have been really good for me. I feel really focused on my career and making myself a better actor. I'm putting down solid roots in the artistic community here after floating around the US for the past 7 years. And I've got some great teachers and mentors at The VORTEX, Brock/Allen Casting, and A Working Group Austin.

Here's to ten more years of growth and work!

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