Solemn Joy and Sudden Spark

Energy.

It’s really all about energy. That solemn joy and that sudden spark (from the song “Our children” from Ragtime).

Your energy on stage, whether you’re acting, singing, dancing, conducting or playing an instrument, has to be palpable. It has to draw in not only the audience but your fellow actors. There needs to be a spark that engages us and makes us want to know what you’re going to do next and how we’re going to respond to that. Even if we know what happens next in the play, what your next line will be, and what the ending will be. Your energy needs to signal that something is going to happen and it’s going to be epic.

If you have the energy, it doesn’t matter if you’re 5’2″ or 5’10”, if you’re 110 pounds soaking wet or twice that. It doesn’t matter if you have a full head of hair or are as bald as an egg (which, for some reason, I called “spoon-headed” when I was little – I guess because shiny?). It doesn’t matter if you’re as graceful as a gazelle or as awkward as a new puppy. You can be the world’s greatest singer or just – eh. It doesn’t matter.

This is what I am looking for as an actor, as an audience member, and as a director. Yes, a director hopefully will bring out the best in each of her actors, but there are certain roles that require more to be there in the first place. If you weren’t cast in the role, it’s because you didn’t fit it in some way. If I’m not cast in a role, it’s because I didn’t fit it in some way. There’s another role I will fit. There’s another role you will fit. Sometimes they aren’t the roles we want.

We have to move on

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