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An Actor Looking for Balance

On how to keep yourself motivated and creative even when projects don’t come “flooding” you.

  • Create them yourself. Don’t stay there waiting for the phone to ring. Look for new plays, read them, translate, or write them if you have to. Come together with your artist friends, people that you trust, and create your own project. There is nothing that could bring you more energy and faith than the anticipation of the rehearsals and the process of “raising” up your own show. 

 

  • Keep practicing. There are so many things that you have to keep well trained: your body, your mind, your soul. Your training should never stop. You can finally find the time to take good care of your instrument. You have a chance to become more sensitive, more flexible, both physically and psychologically speaking. Each casting/audition should find you well prepared.

 

  • See as many performances and films as you can. Look for different sources of inspiration: opera, ballet, puppet shows, it doesn’t matter. It is very important to know what is happening around you. You must remain open and aware of a cultural context that you actually belong to. This is so obvious, that I don’t want to insist any longer. It is essential.

 

  • Say “yes” to new experiences. If you keep yourself open, you can find so many things that you can learn from: a project that needs volunteers, a new job that comes on your way, a part-time maybe that will challenge your communication skills. You can also find yourself in the position of learning totally new skills that will be of great use for your next part.

 

  • Learn something new. This is the perfect time to take canto or tango lessons, or to learn a new language. Moreover, everything you learn will complete your abilities in your cv/resume and that will broaden the range of characters that you are eligible for.

 

  • Get out. Yes, actors also need a ballanced social life. This means that you should sometimes go out with your relatives, or other people that are not from your “theatre world”. This experience will remind you that the world is a way bigger place, and that there are more important problems than your ‘failing’ a scene. Furthermore, there are a lot of interesting characters and situations out there. Life is our biggest source of inspiration. It’s a very good idea to let yourself live the most common experiences. You might actually enjoy them. Extra bonus, the feeling of being part of a trusted group, the attachment, and the stability your friends bring into your life, these are what makes one healthy and balanced.

 

  • Upgrade what you are already doing. The shows that you have been performing still need your attention. Remember what made you enthusiastic about them in the first place, and try to find out how they have changed in the meantime. Keep asking yourself how can you improve something about your character in the show you have today. Reconsider the situation. Maybe there are some particular aspects that you have become aware of only after two years of playing the part, for example. Or maybe you’ve discovered new nuances by playing and being in the character all this time. Try to discover something new each time you go on stage. Experiment. Again and again. Here and now. (It is really said to see a very young actor playing like a “5o year sour” one.) Refresh yourself. Ask yourself one new question, each show, and it’s already something. You will not only be better today, but you will become aware of your work, you will increase your selfesteem and you will trust your work on stage. Bottom line, it is your job to be enthusiastic when you go to the theatre. This way you can find fresh energy to go on, and a new purpose. And nevertheless, it will take you to your next job. An actor that is enjoying his character is always captivating, and attracts projects naturally.

 

  • Live. Love. Create. “Don’t learn how to act, learn how to live” says Grotowski. Protect your energy and invest it in things that really matter to you. Do anything that makes you happy. It is the only way to become the best, without asking for anything in return. Manifest your creativity, no matter what that means to you: enjoy your hobby, develop a part-time job out of your passion for dance, for example, raise a child, enrol as a  Greenpeace volunteer, build up dog shelters. It really doesn’t matter. Whatever makes you feel more fulfilled, more “tired-but-happy” when you to to bed at night, this is exactly what will make you a better actor.

 

I suggest you take a look at these two very interesting resources on this subject:

 

  • A Kate Winslet interview on her approach on acting and also about how ‘keeping yourself busy’ is the only way to enrich yourself, as a human being, and also as an actor, of course. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWJaRlnsNAo

 

Have a great creative week everyone!

 

Weekend Plans

Theatre:

Romantic Fools – tonight, at Godot Theatre-cafe. It is a very funny play about love, about people in love, and their  way of complicating things, about their incapacity to communicate and to understand their significant other. Without being cheesy or instructional the show will remind you of yourself and you will simply have fun. It is smart and very well played.

 

Film :

Noaptea Albă a Filmului Românesc! It’s a kind of “all in one shot”. A must see, definitely! The whole programme if possible !

Pelicula – The first edition of a festival for Latin American films in Romania. It sounds so exotic, that one must try. Here’s an interview on the films in the festival:

„Prin Película îmi doresc să aduc România şi America Latină mai aproape“

„Prin Película îmi doresc să aduc România şi America Latină mai aproape“

and you can find tickets here https://eventbook.ro/elvirepopesco .

 

Music:

Bucharest Music Film Festival. If you happen to pass by the University Square in the evenings, you can stop and listen to the music. It might actually touch you. :)

 

Leisure:

This weekend you can go to Ham Fest ! It is a charity event organised by Red Panda association,  dedicated to the “dogs and their people”. There will be lots of contests, training demonstrations and other surprises. A great way to spend you day outdoors, and to learn about the benefits of having a pet, and to help de rescued dogs from the shelter. See you there! More information here:

Ham Fest 2016, în acest weekend la Bucureşti

Have a great weekend!

My first day of blogging!

ana by Iulian Nan

 

My Acting Blog

 

Today is the first day of my blog. This is a blog about acting, about the experience of trying to find out what acting is, about the adventurous journey of being a freelancer (in Romania!), about seeing life through the “lens” of acting. Acting as a way of living.

 

I’ve been dreaming to become an actress since my 8th grade… I was 15!!! That’s half of my life! I had a very strong impulse that made me fight for my dream and pursue theatre in high school, university, and then even for a Master programme and a PhD, as I really thought you never stop learning. I still think that. Trying to learn acting is something that gets deeper and deeper, and then, at some point even wider. It’s like scuba diving into a beautiful (apparent) lake, but as you go deeper, it gets darker, and wilder and you find yourself being on the bottom of an infinite ocean.

 

I traveled the world to complete my skills with workshops that implied different methods than what I had previously done in university. I’ve read so many books, and met incredible professionals that I’ve learned so much from. I’ve had performances on huge stages, or on small ones, in clubs, in improvised places, or in very high rated theatres… and still, when it comes to castings/auditions, or first readings, I feel like I am back at the beginning, being clumsy and uncomfortable, wondering if I know something at all.

 

But then again, all you can do in this kind of situations is to put everything aside, and let yourself embrace (with grace and vulnerability) a whole new experience, and see what comes out of it. (And out of yourself! 😉 )

 

Being an actor sometimes gets really crazy, it can tear you apart and can make you want to run away screaming until you’ve reached the other side of the world, but insanely, you fall in love with this process. It’s like a huge, unbearable love that keeps you awake at all times, and you forget to eat or to sleep… You realise that you’ve been laughing and crying and working for the last 12 or 14 hours, but you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. And then you start to be grateful, to feel really lucky that somehow you’ve made it so far and you’re there, doing what you love, with amazing, talented people that you learn from every minute, and you also make a living out of it! 😉

 

It sounds crazy, I know, and to some extent I think it is. “Normal” people don’t go up and down emotionally so often. Maybe it happens to them in their most extraordinary moments of their life. But we (actors) chose this kind of living, maybe especially for the extraordinary in it. You can get the happiest of the worst moments of your life from acting, every day. Its up to you how you manage those moments and how you balance them within your personal life, and the other aspects that complete your being.

 

I’ve decided to start putting them down, these experiences. And I chose to do it publicly, in order to strengthen my commitment. I would be really interested if you have similar thoughts, concerns, or experiences. It’s always good to realise that you are not alone. And also, if it is something else about acting that you’ve been struggling with… please write in the comments below.

 

My major themes, or categories (in blogging language 😉 ) include:

  1. Rehearsals 
  2. Performances 
  3. Workshops
  4. Filming
  5. Photo shooting 
  6. Events that make a change – Festivals, charity events, opportunities to open up and exercise your generosity.
  7. Meetings with remarkable professionals.

 

This blog is an exercise, a dare to do something bold, a true challenge, and a whole new experience for me. I’ve read so many inspiring blogs, and I kept wondering what could I write about? What could I contribute with to this amazing, huge, complicated world? So this is my answer and my trial. My self-acceptance as a person who thinks (maybe too much) about what she does, my chance to discover blogging as a true complementary experience or to fail bravely having tried.

 

Welcome to my acting blog! :)

 

Ps: I still have a lot to discover about keeping a blog, many technical things around (tags, buttons, so many options), so please bear with me, have some patience and I’ll find my way soon.