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Expanding Horizons

I’m really into performing. There is something about creating a unique relationship during a performance with the people in a room, both the cast and the audience, that is electrifying to me. That excitement is the reason I want to create that sensation over and over again for the remainder of my days. Also, to be frankly honest, I do enjoy the spotlight. But that’s not what theatre is about. Northwestern’s theatre program is rather different than other programs of its caliber in that we are not confined to focusing on one specific aspect of the theatre: acting, designing, directing, managing, what have you. In fact, we are responsible to know something about all of these things, and I think that is what makes us successful theatre artists when we get out into the world. It is this comprehensive understanding of this powerful form of communication that allows us be smart about how we use it.

As I said, I love performing, whether that be in a straight play, a musical, or a drunken one man striptease/cabaret on top of the living room table in my empty apartment (hypothetically). But it is important for me to know what is going on with everyone else involved a production. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I dabble in costume design because it lets me put to use some of my knowledge of and fascination with the world of fashion and what clothing can tell you about a person or a character. I attempted producing during my college career and now that I am more than halfway through it, I think that I should potentially try my hand at something else before I am thrown out of the relatively safe space that is an institution of learning and into the terrifying abyss that is “real life.”

Right now I am taking text analysis with David Kersnar. I know the class is going to be an enormous amount of work, but we are only three classes in and I’m already in love with it. It is challenging my brain to think with much more responsibility than actors are normally asked to do. My seven classmates have some of the smartest and most interesting minds in my class of 100 and it is the only time in memory I have ever enjoyed being awake before 11 a.m. With all of the very intricate work we are doing (we did some amazing sequential analysis of Romeo and Juliet today) I am thinking I might want to try directing a bit before I graduate.

I’ve always enjoyed helping my friends out with their audition selections and such, and I’ve normally felt like I have valid input when we critique performances in class, especially in musical theatre. The problem is, however, that directing a StuCo show is an incredibly large commitment, as is taking the directing class at school. I’m not sure either of those would outweigh an exciting performance opportunity for me. So I am hoping that I will be able to find some sort of smaller project or special event to work on in the near future to see if I can actually apply the knowledge and technique that I am learning in text analysis.

Ballet is also a thing that is happening. I cannot say that I am anything closer to being the beautiful ballerina that I have oft dreamed of being, but I can say that the class is an environment that makes me want to work hard. I wish that I had the time outside of class to really work on my flexibility and core strength and everything. Remember when I said I was going to start going to the gym regularly in 2013? Hasn’t happened once yet… Oops.

Also, My Fair Lady had our first rehearsal in Cahn Auditorium (our performance space) yesterday! It was very exciting and overwhelming, but I am getting more and more excited for the performance as the days go by! I hope to see you Chicagoans in the audience!

Stay hot and keep it messy,
-Ww

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