Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fraser Valley Zone Festival '07

I got an award! More on that in a minute!!! ...But I got an award!!

I am currently concluding an awesome day. I had an amazing time today. We arrived at our adjudication, and the judge,
Stephen Drover, was an amazing person. All of his comments were really sincere and each one meant something. Behind each word he spoke was all his experience that he wanted to share with everyone, and I could tell he really loves theatre. It was great to work with someone who shares the same passion as you. He held a lot of the same values, and had the same mindset that my mentor and former teacher, Charles Harris, had. I could see them having many similarities, in that they're respectful, caring and sincere, while at the same time being insanely knowledgeable and approachable. So, now that I've done enough PR to last both those men a long time, back to my story.

He gave us many good tips. "Drove", as he liked to be called, mentioned it would've been a little more believable to have the blocking less towards the audience, and be more natural. He also suggested that we start and end the play in a different way, which was MUCH better than what we did. He commented that my age was good, but it wasn't quite 33, which was the age my character, Joe, was supposed to be. He said I pulled off a 25 easily, but had to work on being more serious, and more subtle to gain a better performance. Smaller, more discreet gestures and facial expressions would have left the audience more to work with, rather than telling them, "This is what you should feel. This is when you cry, because we are crying." Now that he says it, it's completely true. We should "play the action, not the emotion." The emotion will come if we do the action with full commitment. And, as always, I look back at the performance I've just done, and immediately start thinking of things I could've done much better. His most profound piece of advice was telling us that he always has to ask the actor three questions at all times.
What are you doing?
Why are you doing it?
I don't believe you.

Okay, so the last one isn't a question, but it's an important statement that rings very true, and lends itself to provoke thought. I also got some tips on how to keep my hands more natural, as I've been on the quest for steady hands for a while now.

So, at the awards gala, Stephen gave out a number of awards, and even made up a few himself. Millennium players got "Best Backstage Co-Operation" thanks to all the "heart" that our group had, the stage manager said. Aisha got an honorable mention, as she should have. She did fantastically well and I am glad she got recognition for it. She really deserved it.
Myself, I got one of the awards that Drove made up himself. He believed that the awards needed to be given, but, until this point, hadn't existed. He starts saying that this award was for an actor who he believes will progress beyond what they are doing, and will one day be getting paid for it. And with that, he presented me with the award for "Most Promising Newcomer". We erupted! I couldn't believe it! I was so happy! I hugged a bunch of us, and ran up onto the stage to accept the award. After everyone had emptied the theatre, and there were a few stragglers conversing, I broke down in tears, sitting on the edge of the stage. I couldn't believe this. It was like people were seeing my talent, and actually believed in me, supporting my dream. I feel so lucky. I was also sad that our production run was over. No more drinking alone. We will have a final party to tie up loose ends. I will miss that group. It really was an honor to perform with them, and I really think we've grown as a family. I admire Chris Foster, my director, and I thank him for all his wisdom and for putting up with me. This was a great cast, and I feel so fortunate for being involved with them.
Sitting around in the green room in the time between the adjudication and the gala, and singing along casually with everyone as Bev played the piano. A great way to spend a couple hours.
I can't wait to be on stage again.