Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Solo Brings me to a New Level of Acting

On Sunday, I did what has become a Christmas tradition for me: singing Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven as a solo for my church. This year brought it to a whole new level, as I was able to use the acting tools I've learned over my first year as a New York actress to bring the virgin Mary to life in a whole new way.

I sensed myself being much more vulnerable as well as more open to discoveries along the way as I sang. This vulnerability and openness brought a whole new level of joy, opened me up more to what God wanted to do, and proved to be very useful. Halfway through the solo, a 2-year old Jamaican girl, Samantha, who hardly ever smiles at me or acknowledges my lame grown up attempts to say hello to her, walked up the aisle mesmerized, and I had my acting teachers' words in my head saying, "Go with it." So go with it, I did. I knelt down and included her in the picture of the story I was telling--or rather, God was telling through me. Because really, it was His moment in the sun. This much was very obvious to me.

Afterwards, people kept commenting on Samantha's entrance as one of highlights of the solo. And I am thanking both my Lord and my acting teachers Jeri Smith and Jared Houseman for their advice to "Go with it!" By doing so, I started to understand more what it means to really live the life of the character...and the deep joy that that can bring.

As always, thanks for reading. And merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Got the Part!

I just got a voicemail from Dina last night saying that she wants me as a part of Neva Give Up! I will post more details when I get them. This is exciting news; at the audition she talked about her plans to take the show to California, Washington, and several other states in response to their interest. Stay tuned for more details...

And for more information about the show itself, here is a review of its run at the Producer's Club in Manhattan:

This link will give you the inspirational story of the director Dina Levin's life and motivation for creating the show:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fantastic Audition!

I auditioned this week for a stage play called "Neva Give Up". I was going out for the role of a social worker dealing with child custody cases, and in preparation, I did internet research, worked the script, and even had the chance to interview one of my husband's coworkers who used to work in the field (it gave me a whole new appreciation for social workers and child abuse situations).

Funny thing: I got into the audition, and the director, Dina, asked me about my age range (as in what age range can I play). I answered with, "about 20-30" and she said, "Really? I see you as more like 18." (Ha! Know thyself: Even in business casual with a full face of makeup I come across as...a high school senior. Very valuable information. And I will definitely be going out for more roles on Gossip Girl!)

So, anyway, this led Dina to ask another actress and myself to improv as mother and daughter, in a situation where I have just found out that my high school friend was taken from her mother at a young age by my social worker mother. The scene went really well! I was really proud of both of us, and our chemistry was great. The audition assistant still wanted us to read the audition sides for the part of social worker, and Dina said to her, "Really? We've already seen her acting ability." We did end up reading the sides, but it was evident that our mother-daughter improv was really the acting highlight of the audition.

She then put me on the spot and asked me to sing. When I asked what style, she had me sing Amazing Grace. She then pushed me even further by saying, "Now sing your favorite song." I knew exactly what to do and started singing Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven, a song I can at this point fully inhabit on cue.

When I finished singing, to my amazement, the other two auditioning actors started clapping! That's a good sign. The woman I had improved and read with kept telling me how great the song was, and Dina said, "We will definitely be calling you."

I would label this audition success.