Collecting Work


It's a little bit funny (this feeling inside...?). I wrote on the 7th about the madness brought about by not having acting work. That was a post I had actually begun some time before, but was a little too busy to complete for a week or so. The irony of such circumstances did not strike me at the time, focused as I was on just getting the dang thing out there. The distracting business was not largely of a theatrical nature -- though there's always the odd assignment here or there -- and so I was full up on the madness of which I wrote. There may be no money in it, but an empty acting roster can apply a similar pressure as that of an empty wallet. Incidentally, John Malkovich is famous for (among other things) having said, "I've always felt that if you can't make money as an actor, you're either incredibly stupid or tragically unlucky." John, I hope I never have the chance to discuss this little pearl with you.

Right here and now I can officially state that I am beginning to feel overwhelmed with theatre work. Not acting work, mind you. It is looking increasingly as though October's posts to the Aviary will not escape the single digits (again; we haven't done that since May) and though the primary culprit for that remains el jobbo del day, lots and lots of theatre work has officially chimed in on the effort to rid me of free time, with a cheery "hihowareya?!" The change is a result of a combination of factors, everything from the new phone to the approaching holidays. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but it feels a like a drastic switch of mental state, which is generally how I've come to expect these things to occur.

The primary occupier for the past month has been a very new and exciting venture with Friend Andrew: The ACTion Collective. Tomorrow night we are hosting a slew of our favorite people to work with, who will be coming together to perform short readings of material that they themselves provide, and that we cast in the room. The idea is to gather actors together in a social setting in which they can also enjoy and explore their work without the pressures of a rehearsal process. Friend Patrick, who accepted one of our invitations, compared it to how jazz musicians get together to play music when they're not "working." That's the short-term goal. In the longer term, we hope to keep doing events such as this, with similar priorities placed on the acting, but also to build a very functional community (not just network) of theatre artists who enjoy learning from one another. We've done a lot of groundwork in the past couple of weeks on the supposition that ACTion Collective has a future beyond Thursday's event, so it's an exciting time.

In addition to that, a couple of directing possibilities for yours truly. I can't be very explicit about these, since they are rather nascent and involve other people's work, but both involve shorter works the which I will be taking no small amount of creative control of. Hopefully, they will prove less complex than that last sentence. It may seem odd that I would suddenly not only be directing, but be directing two projects. And it is. However, it's also partly because the projects are linked in interesting ways, and one affords me the opportunity to gear up for the other. The current work aspect of both at this point involves meeting with people and bouncing around ideas and philosophical opinions related to theatre. It's pretty great. It's also coming up on pretty important that I make serious headway with them both, so I'm glad Thursday's event is Thursday, and not, say, two weeks from Thursday.

I don't know what all this will lead to. I have a plan, of course, a course in fact that I'm hoping the work at least weaves in and out of, but if experience has taught me anything it is that man plans, God laughs. I usually feel most at home and fulfilled when I'm absorbed in theatre work, and now there's the added benefit of it being exactly the sort of work I want more of in the world. There's also the risk of putting my money where my mouth is, of which I am not unaware (read: completely freaked out). And the strangeness of acknowledging that it isn't acting work. Yet it's wonderful stuff. Gathering work means you're gathering people, bringing together a lot of talent, and a lot of just great people. And right now, I'm not sure that it gets any better than that.
 
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