Hello, this Erin Lovelace, an associate member of Wishbone Theatre Collective! For the past 5 weeks I have been taking a scene study class with Profiles Theatre's Artistic Director Darrell Cox. What an adventure it has been! It’s funny how fast one can forget the fundamentals of his or her craft, but can pick them back up in the classroom.
My goal in taking this course was to make acting fun again and to relieve some of the stress it has been creating. The class consists of ten students; each paired with another student in the class and given a scene from a play. Gruesome Playground by Rajiv Joseph is the play that my scene partner, Julian, and I were given. We are required to rehearse six hours outside of class and then participate in a four-hour class on Tuesdays. The process has been eye opening! Here I am a girl with little confidence in her acting abilities as of late, acting in front of other professionals and a very vocal and important Artistic Director.
Since being in Chicago, acting has become a bit of a frustration for me, as I am never quite satisfied with my performance. Darrell’s direction mostly reflects that of Sanford Meisner. Some of Meisner’s beliefs are as follows: “Less’s more," “The truth of ourselves is the root of our acting,” and “You can’t fake emotion.” Darrell’s lessons are not about getting to the moment or acting for the audience. Instead he wants us act for what we have on stage with us: fellow actors, the script, and ourselves. It seems simple enough to do, but always easier said than done.
So why would I try so hard to be an actor if it wasn’t fun and if it didn’t mean something to me? Why is it always about what other people think or say? It's like Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”