Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From Actor David Hornreich

"Maybe Larry really does have super powers," Allison says. "Or Maybe he thinks he does, but Cosmo doesn't believe him. Maybe Larry doesn't have super powers at all."

I'm Larry. I may or may not have super powers.

"Maybe the brothers mug everyone they come across. Maybe not."

This is Allison's direction. It is focused, but non-prescriptive. It makes us think. It's super.

"Let's just try it again and see what happens."

And so we wander through the scene, trying things out. Gestures, ticks, shifting points of focus. Powers super, not-so-super, or althogether non-exisitent. We don't really know quite what the scene will look like when it's a finished product, but we know it will amount to a story that's worth telling and - should we do our jobs properly - well told.

It's in this moment I realize this rehearsal is a perfect microcosm of my own life.


At fourteen I decided I wanted to try acting. I was a shy kid. Only child. Liked reading. I tried acting because I was terrified by the very thought of it. Where was the order? In math class, for example, we learned that 1.5 = 3/2 = 3:2. This was irrefutably true. But in acting - all interpretation and nuance - what's true? What's right? It's chaos!

By seventeen I'd fallen in love with that chaos and told my parents I was going to make acting my major in college. I auditioned for shows and my life changed every time a cast list was posted. Defining my four years at college were the decisions of dozens of directors. I didn't know who would say "yes" to me, but I know some would, and out of those "yeses" would come adventure.

At twenty-two and on a whim I moved to Chicago. In the five years I've been here I've attempted many things. I've failed - a lot - but I've succeeded too. All things considered, I'm satisfied with the ratio.

And on I go, figuring things out. Today I audition for theatre, commercial voiceover, on-camera work, print, tradeshows; I act, direct, write, teach. I don't know which of these things will take off and which won't. But I'm trying things and seeing what happens. And while I don't quite know what my life will end up looking like when it's all said and done, I know it will amount to a story that's worth telling and - so long as I still have my wits - well told.


Back in the microcosm, we finish the scene. Some of the things we'd tried didn't work - at all. But others did, and we can tell that we're progressing. Slowly but surely. We're getting there. Allison offers her notes and her encouragement.

"Really good," she says. "Let's try it again."

And on we go, figuring things out.

1 comment:

lawjudgewa said...

Great Story.