David said that if we wanted to “guest blog” to share the experience of working on A Dream Play we were allowed. So I flew down from my tree and thought I would type a few words before scurrying into rehearsal tonight.
Okay, seriously – does the flying squirrel bit get old? I’ve lived it so long, I can’t tell.
For Jobsite fans who know me – my background is sketch comedy and my roles with Jobsite and the projects that I direct tend to be comedies. So when I was given the opportunity to work in A Dream Play, I jumped on it. This is as far from the roles I have portrayed at Jobsite as you can get.
For those who might be interested in the behind-the-scenes work that actors do to prepare for a role – I have found a most uncommon source for research – first responders and emergency workers who deal with the victims of natural disasters. Because Agnes is “observing” or “learning” the human condition, she does not allow herself to alter or change the behavior she witnesses. She does not emotionally indulge in the pathos of those she encounters. She has to have what first responders call “sympathetic immunity” to the situation. She acknowledges pain, she tries to understand pain, but she does not internalize or fully engage the pain that others feel around her. It’s a fascinating way to deal with people. Agnes is so different from me that I often find myself coming out of rehearsals in a daze.
Kari – me Kari – not actor Kari – I am an active participant in people’s problems, I am a “fixer” in pop-psychology speak. I want to make things better; right wrongs; plot revenge and whatever else is needed to help someone with closure or resolution. I always thought it made me a good friend.
But as learn more about Agnes, I see the power of letting free will and nature takes its course. I understand the dignity of letting things be. For the first time in my life, I make the conscientious decision to be still. It has been a life-changing experience. If I were one of my own improv students, I would pat myself on the back and say, “Good awareness!”
With 9 days to go until we open, the back patting will have to wait.
Working with the cast is amazing – this is such a solid ensemble. It’s a rich combination of Jobsite veterans you know and love and some new faces that are brining a whole new game to our production. It’s a dynamic, creative, thought-provoking and challenging process. I really believe that the work we are doing now will allow our audience to be swept into the multi-dimensional world of the sub-conscious dreamer and experience a truly unique theater experience.
I honestly cannot remember when I had the pleasure of working on such a process-oriented, stylized piece of theater.
Oh and the brief nudity is me – so if you haven’t bought your ticket yet – do so now – I will be more clothed as the run progresses. So you either get a quick glimpse now – or deal with me looking like Randy from ”A Christmas Story.”