I originally intended to start this chapter of my blog about the month of January; how quickly it has gone. and the highlights that it brought. But as I came to sit and write tonight, I think It will begin on a slightly different note.
After what has been a really fun, enjoyable and memorable week of 3rd semester demos, today threw my soul against a brick wall. Now the following comments will probably cross your mind when you continue reading (I know they will, because they would flash through mine!)
- It’s the nature of the business, Honey!
- Are you fishing for compliments?
- Suck it up girl!
But today, hearing and seeing judgemental, teenage, and quite frankly bitchy behaviour from people that are supposed to be on the same journey as me, affected me more that I would normally let it. AND to the above 3 comments, I KNOW! I’m not personally upset, and after having an episode of word vomit on Facebook, I cannot express my love and gratitude for the wonderful people and support network that I DO have in my life. This is more about respect, for each other as girls, artists and human beings.
Having a friend literally catch someone bad mouthing you, (in the public vacinity of a fast food restuarant) and really judging you clearly because the way you look makes my skin crawl. Don’t get me wrong, I know my strengths, and areas for improvement. I am no way near the most beautiful, sexy, talented or funniest Eve in the world, but I am proud of the fully grown adult I am.
Girls should be supporting other girls. We don’t need to all look like the same size 2, 5ft 5, blonde perfect barbie to be beautiful, talented or right for a part.
***Flash back to the moment Elle confronts Vivian:
“…We girls have to stick together. We shouldn’t try to look good by making each other look bad…”
And the Vivian style-judgement were just some of the voices in my head that were slapping me throughout my final Tap demonstration this afternoon. (Maybe that explains why I decided to throw a couple extra beats into our routine? No that was just because I messed up. And that too is OKAY!)
This week included a celebration of every third semesters growth, talent, personality and journey. And each person is on their own path, at their own stage, and I have respect for all that had the opportunity to perform. And even those who maybe didn’t get to share their work, I urge everyone to hit 4th Semester the way a Drag Race queen slays a death drop.
Casting is always like a Game of Thrones battle scene for me. Dramatic, and never certain where or whom will survive. I lie in this funky gray area, and because the big 3-0 is catching up on me, I am no spring chicken any more (booo!) Fortunatley, both sides of the gene pool have blessed me with fabulously youthful skin, and because of my obsession with chocolate, my chubby cheeks add to my juvenile looks. I have a voice that sometimes likes to pretend its a wannabe Julie Andrews, and sometimes a crazy Imelda Staunton (Oh, sometimes my face adds to the latter! Ohhhh and that is not a dig at Ms. Staunton, I would die a happy lady to have a slice of her career!) BUT which pigeon hole I sit in came move frequently. It’s never really been something that has bothered me, I quite like being able to have the variety and choice (eek: that sounds ridiculously vain!) And after all, this crazy business I have dedicated my life to, is completely subjective.
The bubble of a drama school can become very spiteful, decieving yet on the flip side surprising, and continually inspirng. People will talk, have opinions, (we all do; and if you say you don’t you’re probably the worst culprit out there!?) My advice…. have common sense ladies; we all talk, and you never know who is friends with who, and who is going to be standing right behind you when you decide to open your mouth. No one person is entitled to “own” a role…. I will use my go to example for anything theatrical, because even the MT haters can make the reference: Wicked. Just think of ALL the Elphaba’s that followed Idina …. do you think she’s bitter? NO WAY. Do you think she comments on other peoples physical appearance, or their approach. NO WAY. Every single one was given that opportunity because the creatives behind that show saw a person recreating life, with qualities in them they saw inside the green gal described on the page.
Basically, what i’m trying to preach is we should stop comparing others, and focus more on ourselves. Support each other, and if the itch to opinion-ate arrises; at least do it somewhere that isn’t a drama school local?!
After spending 6 years working with under 7’s teaching them confidence, it truly unlocked me as a person in my early 20’s, (wow) and gave me the confidence to give some aplomb (thanks Neher!) and not care… So I thoroughly enjoy throwing myself into a character like Mrs Lovett, pulling ugly faces and not caring about anything else other than Todd and those damned pies! HOWEVER, this does not mean ugly, bold and machiavellian is my bit. Getting the chance to portray someone “normal” (such a vague word to use) but who experiences love, is also something doable. I’m proud of the work I’ve achieved this semester, but that does not give me right, and neither do I claim to have any over ANY of the roles I have worked on. And for the haters out there, who were waiting for some Regina George comment to escape my mouth today; pride and happiness were the only things that beamed out of me watching one of my best gals smash a number from a show I too worked on. Because that is genuine friendship, and kindness.
The talent that surrounds me on a daily basis fills my heart with joy. After all, I’m sure every performer out there wanted to do what they do because they saw someone else that was breath-taking, and wanted to be just like that. We don’t achieve greatness by knocking other people down?! This week I got to see some of my best friend in America up on the stage and totally rock it; whether they sang a duet or thrived every moment of the group number, my smile was so big, my cheeks hurt at the end! Getting to see people that I have worked with over the last year, (or just got to know outside of the classroom) go up and live has been a highlight of January. You all inspire me to… eat less chocolate, pirouette harder, look deeper into lines and just work further on my craft. I am nothing other than thankful, and grateful for that.
The group I have been blessed to spend the last 15 weeks with have given me some side-splitting memories, and I’ve gained wonderful new friends. You hold a special place in the beginning of my American Chapter in life, and for that, Thank-you.
So… quite a deep one for a February Friday night.
But: “Hey Hey Hey, be positive!”