This is a re-post of my Backstage Take 5 column from October 2008
Bring It and Make It: Wow. I’m learning something right now, at this very moment. It’s 10 a.m. on a Wednesday, and this Take Five segment is due by noon. I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop, sweating it because I don’t know where to start. I usually sit down with one or two things to write about and then just let the words flow. But today, instead of trusting myself and writing from my truth and letting myself come through whatever words happen to end up on the page, I’m sitting here worried about you. What are you going to think? Are you going to like this column? Does it measure up to last month’s? Is it witty enough? Is it insightful enough? There are literally too many thoughts racing through my head right now to even write them down.
I’ve been listening to a podcast (www.accidentalcreative.com) recently that is produced for those of us in create-on-demand fields. Whether we’re writers, actors, directors, marketers, designers, we all face the unique challenge of being able to creatively “bring it” in high-pressure, deadline-driven situations. The host signs off each podcast with the following statement: “Remember, this is the age of creativity. Cover bands don’t change the world. Find your own unique voice.”
How many times have you heard in class or at a workshop that when you go in for an audition, callback, or meeting with a producer, you just need to relax, have fun, and bring yourself to the role? Don’t go into auditions trying to figure out what “they” want. Just go in and bring your own unique voice to the material and, most important, have fun in the process.
I had the opportunity this month to work as a reader for a couple of casting directors. It was a fascinating experience, being on the other side of the table. I could immediately see those actors who came in and were nervous, trying to impress us — or worse yet, who were unprepared. I could also immediately tell those actors who had done their work and were there to have a good time. Those who came in prepared, willing to let their unique selves come through in their work, were captivating to watch. They were human.
So the lesson that I’m learning right now is that my responsibility as an artist, writer, and designer is to sit down and face the resistance that comes from looking at a new set of sides or a blank page and be vulnerable enough and willing to let myself show up in that room or on that page — whatever may come of it. So if you see my work in an audition or on stage and like it, or read this column and enjoy it, great. I had a great time creating it, and for me that’s all that matters.
P.S. For those of you who are interested in my marathon training, I blew through the wall and rocked 22 miles last weekend. I can’t wait for 26.2 on Oct. 12.