Two weeks ago, I started a long-term temporary position as a Receptionist. It is a normal, 8-5 job, that pays well. And for many people, that would be great! For me, it can quickly suck my soul. I feel very tired at the end of most days, and not because I did anything particularly tiring, but because I haven’t spent my day doing things that feed my artistic soul. Just to give you an idea of how this job affects me: this morning, I had several emails requesting rooms for meetings. A simple enough task, as I simply assign them to the appropriate room, in the order in which they were requested. But just that simple task was making me sleepy.
In order to combat this, I have to find ways to nurture my artistic, creative needs. Which brings me to this past week. On Monday, I participated in an evening of staged readings of new plays. On Wednesday, I saw a Broadway show, and ran into a friend of mine in Times Square! On Thursday, I had an audition. On Friday, I had another audition! On Saturday, I took a class!
Monday evening was the 2nd Annual Un-Auguration: An Evening of Short Plays about America today. I had the opportunity to read in one play called “You Afraid?” and watch several other plays that made me laugh, made me think, made me CONFRONT realities of our country today.
Wednesday, Kendall and I went to see The Play That Goes Wrong at the Lyceum Theater. If you have ever worked on a theatrical production, you will laugh, cringe, say “That happened to me once!” AT LEAST 3 times in the first 10 minutes, and won’t stop until the very end. It is HYSTERICALLY funny, and I am so impressed with those actors. This show is high-energy physically, mentally, and vocally from the very beginning to the very end. For these actors to be able to perform 8 shows a week is simply amazing. I hope I can someday have the opportunity to join the cast.
Funny side story: As Kendall and I were walking to the subway after the show, I tripped going up a curb, and immediately heard my friend, Sarah, call, “Emily!” If being recognized in Times Square because I tripped is not the most quintessentially-Emily thing to happen, I don’t know what is.
On Thursday, I went during my lunch break to audition for a short play. Folks, I’m gonna be honest: It wasn’t great. I did exactly what you’re NOT supposed to do. I started my monologue, realized it was going poorly, then asked to start over. You’re not supposed to start over! You just keep the performance going! Needless to say, I did not get a callback for that audition. But, considering it was my first audition in about a month and a half, I’m not beating myself up too much.
On Friday, I went to the EPA for….wait for it…. The Play That Goes Wrong! I was so excited! I got there at about 7:00 AM, and made it to #14 on the EMC list. The holding room kept filling with people. It was astonishing. At about 10:00 or so, the monitor came out and said, “They’re not seeing Non-Equity or EMC today, so you’re dismissed. They are accepting dropoffs.” So, I gave him my headshot and resume, and headed over to the auditions for Othello and Little Rock.
I got my name on both lists, and since I only had one extra with me, I figured I’d see which one called me first, and THAT one would get my headshot and resume. I waited and waited. And waited some more. At about 4:15, the monitor called my name! And again, folks, it wasn’t a great audition. I could easily blame the system for making EMCs wait around all day and then giving them about 30 seconds to mentally prepare to go in. But the truth is, it’s my own fault. I didn’t really have the best material prepared. I did the best I could, and I know that I probably could have done better if I had been more mentally prepared, but it is what it is. And I did get to meet some pretty cool people, and have some great conversations; plus, I actually got SEEN, which is more than I can say for a lot of people. So I’m putting this in the Win Column.
On Saturday, I finally got to make up the Commercial Class with David Cady I had missed back in November. I got to have some fun with a non-scripted scene in which I played the store employee helping a couple pick out a light fixture. Then I got to play one half of a design team for a furniture store. The biggest takeaways I have from that class overall are: commercials are about SMILING, and you have to act QUICKLY, because there’s only so much time allotted in a commercial.
When I ended work this past week, I was tired, but it was a good kind of tired. The kind of tired that makes you want to get a good night’s sleep, and wake up tomorrow and do it again. So friends, I encourage you to find what it is that feeds YOUR soul, and get out there and experience it. My soul is fed by acting and theatre in general. So I got a whole lot of it in this past week, and I feel so motivated to keep going and keep improving. And it’s because I took the time to feed my soul.