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How Much Theatre is Too Much Theatre?

Life is really fast paced when you’re in theatre school and sometimes many days pass by that seem indistinguishable from one another, even though dozens of important events occur over that time. In some respect, we are continuing to amass this store of wonderful knowledge, but it seems as though every play we read, every rehearsal we attend, and every audition experience we have is nothing more than a minimally different riff on the time before.

All this to say: a lot has happened in the ten or so days since I’ve last posted, but it all seems like one broad brush stroke of life in theatre school to me. Where shall I begin?

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said something along the lines of: “This text analysis course makes me want to direct! It’s so cool!” Yeah, well, I’m directing something now. So that’s cool. This March, there is a festival of ten minute plays that were written by other NU students, and I am directing a farce called Open Marriage. My cast is incredibly talented and I could not be more excited. First read through is tomorrow morning at 10am! It will probably include mimosas, because that is the kind of director I am, apparently. I expect many life lessons about theatre, and probably quite a few new thoughts on acting, to come out of this experience, so get ready for some learning via my trusty partner called trial and error.

I was also cast in a David Mamet play called Romance that is going up at school in May. I am incredibly excited about the role, and very interested to get some experience with Mametspeak. I have only just started reading Mamet’s plays last quarter, and, while I value his unique contribution to contemporary American playwriting, I honestly don’t know whether or not I like his works. But, just like learning the styles of Chekhov or Ionesco are important tools, learning how to navigate Mamet is a great skill to have in a city that reveres his work ever so.

In an effort to prepare for some probable shirtless-ness in the show, my roommate Rachel and I have started Insanity. For those of you who don’t know, Insanity is an intense workout routine that got immensely popular last summer. It is also the hardest/worst/most painful thing I have ever tried to do to my body. As you may know, working out is not a thing that I do. At all. It has, for several years, been a thing I constantly talk about starting. And now here we are. I have the motivation I need: a situation where people will be paying to see me shirtless… I mean… to see me act. Fingers crossed that I have a really hot bod in a couple of months!

Speaking of shows that I act in, opening weekend of My Fair Lady was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. Our Saturday night show was completely sold out, and over three days, we had over 2,000 audience members. Tonight we have our brush up run before two shows on Friday and Saturday, and I invite you all to attend! We’ve been receiving some amazing reviews and feedback and I could not be more proud of being a part of this production. The leads are incredible. They have reinvented these classic characters to be more compelling, more moving, more human than ever before (especially my very talented friend, Nick Day.) There is also a shining moment for every single member of that cast. Never have I felt so crucial as an ensemble member of a 40 person show. The stage pictures of Tristan Powell are nothing short of break-taking. CHELSEA TAYLOR’S COSTUMES IN ALL CAPS AND THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT. For real, if you can see this show: treat yourself.

Last weekend was a delight because my mom and aunt were in town for the show and we had a blast. Highlights included using my fake ID in front of my mother during a night of barhopping and going shopping in Lincoln Park. Shopping adventures with my mother are always interesting, because she always asks for my opinion, but sometimes doesn’t like what she hears or gets offended by what I tell her. For example, I had to instruct my mother that under no circumstance is she allowed to wear leggings as pants, while the store manager of the boutique was talking to me about modeling opportunities. What is my life? My mother and I also bought matching paint splattered jeans from MY place of employment. Oh, Grace… she’s a wild one. Oh! Also, my mom and I are Will & Grace. So there’s that.

This weekend, my brother Evan is coming to see My Fair Lady, which is sure to be an interesting adventure. He is staying three whole nights and if we don’t kill each other I will consider it a success. If we don’t fight at all, it will be a downright miracle. I am planning on spending all day Saturday with him in the city, eating, shopping, and generally gallivanting. Saturday night he will be coming to the cast party with me, and if anyone tries to hook up with him, so help me God, I will have a conniption. On Sunday, I will probably take him to load in of She Kills Monsters, which I hope he will take as a an opportunity to learn. Also keeping my fingers crossed that he is willing to help out as opposed to being generally in the way of a very busy day.

So, yeah, there is a lot going on in my day-to-day hot mess. Listing the things that are at the top of my head is interesting, because none of them are really about school work interestingly enough… Hope I don’t fail my classes…

Lalala, so that’s what’s going on in my life. Mostly I can’t wait to share with you all what my first directing experience is like! Stay tuned!

Stay hot and keep it messy,
-Ww

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