When you're between projects what do you do? How do you fill the spaces between shows and films?
READINGS! Theater companies have readings ALL the time to try out material for their upcoming seasons, as part of nights where they feature playwrights, or just to hear plays read. Production companies and writers themselves will also organize readings of potential works to be made. So, that's how I've been filling the empty spaces right now between project.
The first set of readings I did were with the amazing company Theatre East.
A dear friend (Darlene!!!!!!!!) appeared in one of their productions last season, Normalcy, and it was by far one of the best things I've seen on stage in a long time. Smart Smart Darlene has done what all good little actors should do and has cultivated a loving relationship with this company. (Honestly how could you not. The Husband and Wife duo who run it make you feel more welcomed and a part of the ensemble than many a family gathering.) So it was with great joy that I jumped at the chance to read a part in Darlene's play, Property, at one of their new works reading nights. It's like a stress free audition. How can you go wrong with that? Twas a great night of words and beer and making new friends. (And hopefully connections)
That hopefully turned into a...nailed it! Shortly after the reading I was contacted by Judson Jones, the Artistic Director to read a new play by the daughter of Dominic Chianese, the actor who portrayed Uncle Junior in the Soprano's. Why would any one say no? In their defense the action centers around an Italian neighborhood and hello...me...need I say more? It was a small part, but another good night of reading. Having people hear my voice say these words. It was a simple table read so of course it was rough in some places (talking about my own delivery) but who cares. They called me back to read some more! You can bet a thank you is on the way.
The next reading I was invited to take part in was of Chekov's Cherry Orchard with the American Bard Theater Company.
First of I have to say that I love the idea of going back to American Globe, which is where Amer. Bard is currently residing. There is such a feeling of going home. Of being home. In a space that I've only worked a few times, but fell in love with. Both companies are filled with people who look at you and smile, instantly accept you, and want you to succeed. You'd think that would be the case everywhere, but it's not. So no wonder I feel like I'm home when I'm there.
With American Bard I was asked to read a part in a very casual round table read of the Cherry Orchard. (Which to me is a ridiculous comedy. The people in it are honestly ridiculous save for one person. But of course no one listens to them.) I'll also say that sometimes reading the classics on your own is a chore. A chore among chores. For one who is a Shakespearephile, it's stilll so difficult to get me to sit down and read some of these older plays. But to sit in a circle and see and hear the characters come to life? Sign me up.
Plus it doesn't help that I feel as if I helped with the planning of their upcoming season. (even if I really didn't, it's nice to feel important)
I'd like to say this is how I ALWAYS spend my down time between projects, but that would be a lie. Ideally this is what I would do to keep the creative acting juices flowing. But you can't really plan your life out like that.
So after all that, who spends their downtime how? How do you fill the spaces between projects?