We just wrapped up our first contemporary play as First Year Drama students. I was in "Blue Window" by Craig Lucas (the original set designer of which is a Filipino colleague, Loy Arcenas). I played Alice Fisher, who is a famous writer living with her female lover, Boo.
The challenge of this new project was working on a play without my teachers for the first time. That meant keeping the integrity of every thing I have learned so far without the presence of those who guided me toward my initial discoveries with the craft. That also meant releasing myself from the internal pressure of wanting to be a "good actor" in rehearsals. I've learned that it is very important to allow oneself to be in a muck for a while within the course of a creative process. In that muck one can allow oneself to be messy, to try things without the safety net of it being brilliant, to sift through the mud and rocks - basically to live and work in uncertainty.
When one stays the course, soon enough, one crosses a line and things begin to drop in. I think there was a point probably 2 days before the showings when we felt as a cast that we crossed a line together and we began to "play." That is when all of the stuff one has worked on has moved from one's head to one's body and one achieves one of the most rewarding aspects of the craft: Freedom within a structure.
On a lighter note, since this play was set in the 80's I had to learn to curl my hair by myself.
This quarter of the school year has been a tricky one because the adrenaline of the initial honeymoon stage has begun to wear off and I am confronted more and more with my "aloneness."
Female poet Elizabeth Bishop believed that "everyone should experience at least one prolonged period of solitude in life" (from BrainPickings.org).
I've been reading a lot about solitude to help me understand what I am going through. I've always drawn strength from my aloneness but I am experiencing a heightened degree of aloneness being in a new city on my own. I have no complaints or regrets whatsoever, only a deeper desire to find an unassailable serenity with one's own company.
I am a Graduate Drama student at The Juilliard School from Quezon City, Philippines.