Posts tagged theatre

Playing And Playing Around

The more I work with the kids doing this play at the Middle School, the more I realize how things will be going when I begin my own group. Some of these kids show real talent, real promise in the acting department. Some are so-so. None of them are hopeless cases. However, what makes all the difference is their attitudes towards the play. Some are gung-ho, ready to go. They’re paying attention, quiet, waiting for their cues, listening and watching what the others are doing. Learning what it takes to have the next great part and to do the best for their small parts as possible. I see the dedication there and the beginnings of love for theatre.

Then there are the others. I cannot grasp why they even bothered to sign up. This is an option, yet they complain. They don’t show up for practices. When they do, they pay no attention, talk, play, run around. How can you not put the effort in to learn just a few lines? How can jabbering to the people you see practically every day at school be more important that picking up your cues and being ready to be on stage when it’s your time? One cannot claim to love to act when one cannot complete the bare minimum of paying attention to the director.

As an outsider looking at people I would allow to “play” with me, these people would be fired within the first month. I’m sure there are a few of those kids who really dislike me. Tough, I say. When I talk, I expect you to listen and obey whether you like it or not. So far I haven’t told anyone to stop doing something they already weren’t supposed to be doing.

I don’t remember having so much trouble listening when I was told to. Being in the Amadeus Children’s Choir (before it was called that), I had no choice but to listen! If I hadn’t, Mrs. Schmore would have thrown me out, no matter if my parent’s had paid the $250 per month already or not. We paid attention. We practiced singing for hours. We attended competitions where we had to sit quietly for hours. There was no ignoring the director, no chatting pointlessly instead of listening, no texting or playing around. You either participated or you were out. Whether or not you were the guy (group) she was working with at the time.

With only two days left until performance, I have put more of my own time and effort into this play than some of these kids. I have spent hours on costumes (I hate sewing!) and set. I have attended all but two practices (I was getting laser eye surgery at the time). I even played the parts of those who didn’t show up to practice. AND I’M NOT EVEN IN THE PLAY!

Perhaps I am angry that they are given this opportunity and encouraged in this opportunity and they throw it away so easily. I would have given my right arm to have had that opportunity when I was their age. Sometimes I still feel angry that I missed out on something I should have been encouraged to become.

So now I sit (well, work) from the sidelines and watch those coming up to their talents. There are kids I would hire as a director and those I wouldn’t. I’ve also realized that I will also fire anyone who isn’t willing to put 100% commitment to whatever show we will do. There will be no divas in my group. We are all one and we will all be expected to put forth our best efforts and use our varied talents to the best of our abilities. Anything else is unacceptable.

Soooooooooo… anyone interested in being a serious part of a theatre group? 🙂

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Passion

I am struggling.

I have been searching out the idea of going back to school – university to be exact – to get a 3 yr undergraduate degree. A Bachelor of Arts concentration in Psychology. I like psychology. I find it very interesting, informative. I love helping people using my knowledge of psychology and my own personal experiences. I don’t particularly like school and it scares me to even think about going back to school at the age of 40. I believe I could be an excellent student provided I stay motivated (difficult), interested (not difficult unless it’s a subject that doesn’t seem relevant to me) and focused (depends, but I tend to flit from interest to interest). The math course scares the bejeebers out of me.

I could do it. I would be good at it.

But here’s the thing.

Am I settling? Psychology is not my passion. I took a 2 yr writing course at the cost of a couple grand. I excelled at it. But… writing is not my passion either. Even though I am drawn to writing, I have the ideas to write novels/stories/children’s books/whatever, and I need to journal at times, I don’t have that high, that love, that desire, that PASSION for doing it. I write. I have completed one novel but not done anything with it. I have half completed 2 other novels and not done anything with them. I have written many stories and done nothing with them. Am I afraid of rejection? Yes, but it’s more than that. I am a good writer people tell me, but I lack conviction. That’s fine. It’s very difficult to make money as a writer anyways. I could go into journaling, writing stories for magazines, but it doesn’t even remotely call me to do that. Writing is not my passion.

What do I love? What is my passion?

Theatre.

Acting.

I spoke with my good friend about setting up a theatre group (I use the term loosely here) between the two of us just the other day. I get that flutter of excitement in my stomach. The thrill of creativity roaring through my brain. The whirl of exhilaration shivering up my spine. The scream of stimulation electrifying my very nerves. Tiredness falls away to nothing. Boredom disappears. Exhaustion evaporates. All doubts, worries, cares are gone in a twinkle of animated passion for every part of the ride. I’d give my right arm to go to school to get an acting degree! I have ideas tearing through my head about how to get set up, what we’d need to do, where we’d need to go, how we’d go about doing it. Round and round and round. I obsess about it. I focus on it. It becomes my air, my breath, my food, my sustenance, my everything. I want to eat, sleep and breath it. Nothing else matters.

This is passion.

Passion
Passion

This is what I was created for.

This is what makes me feel whole.

This thing. This love. This desire.

What is going back to school, taking something interesting, at the cost of $20,000 compared to making nothing doing what I love and feeling, oh! so satisfied and whole?

A waste of money and time.

It isn’t what I want to do. I’d love to be able to help parents in my position – with children who deal with OCD and similar things. But I could start a group that gives each other ideas and figures out how to help ourselves and our children with the knowledge we read up on! But, in my mind, it only takes a distance second place to the passion of theatre.

I look at the words that have erupted from my soul and I can see why I write. But emptying my brain and organizing thoughts on paper is as necessary as breathing to me. But there isn’t the passion. Writing is a part of me. Psychology gleaned from books, websites, counsellors and the psychologists working with my son is enough to satisfy me. I can’t see myself being happy and excited about going to work at the hospital or the FCSS the way I wake up thrilled with life and every day when I am in the midst of a play. I’ve always felt I could be happy doing any job. I can. Even McDonalds. But those jobs don’t fulfill me, don’t thrill me, don’t motivate me, don’t move me.

Should I go back to school to get a degree in psychology? My mother would be proud. We’d have a better income plus a whole lot more debt.

I think the answer has to be no.

Sorry, Mom.

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