An Actor’s Notes: Into the Void

We are leaping once more into the void.

My wife Sara and I are starring in the two person murder-mystery play, Interval,this fall on Sept 19-20 with all for One Productions at the ACPL Theatre downtown.

And as I said, it feels like a scary thing, to leap into the void of acting with only one other person and that person being my wife.  I mean the last time we stood on stage together in major roles was in college over ten years ago!  But when someone you trust asks you to consider a role, you jump at the chance.

Sara and I both read the play and found it to not only be a murder mystery, but also a funny and quirky reflection on a relationship between two people trying to figure out life together in New York and asking some of life’s big questions.

Why do bad things happen to godly people?

Where is God now?

How do you talk about faith with a friend?

Is there hope for forgiveness in broken relationships?

How do you handle crisis and grief?

And so we said, “yes”.  We knew it was the right thing to do at this point in our lives.  God had given us gifts and time to breathe life into this little play.  So we said, “yes”.

And then the doubt started in… Could Sara get the multiple characters and accents needed?  Could Sam find interesting character details that didn’t detract from the story?  COULD WE MEMORIZE IT IN TIME?

Then I remembered two things.  The first was an interview with Frank Langella.  He describes what happens when he starts a new role:

Frank-Langella-wallpapersThe first thing I think is, “Can I play this?” I don’t want to take on a part I don’t think I can play.  And then once I decide I can play this…I think, “I can’t play this”…at the first rehearsal you think, “I can’t do this, I can’t make these moves…”  I put myself there because it rids me of any preconceived notion of “Oh, I know how I’m going to do this….” **

If FRANK LANGELLA feels this way, we’re in good company.  Maybe the uncertainty is part of the process of not know where you’ll end up, but trusting that the creative work will bring you to your destination?

Secondly, I thought of that voice Adam and Eve heard in the garden. (I know, it’s a hard right turn from Frank Langella to the Garden of Eden, but hang with me!) The voice said, “Did God really say…”  You know the voice.  It was the serpent; the same one who tries to use our doubts and insecurities keeping us from creating art that spreads salt and light.  I hear it even now.  “Did God really give you enough skill to pull this off?  Is this the right time for your family?  Don’t you think it will be a bit boring?”  And on it goes…

So I’m holding on in faith that God is faithful and will use this little play for His glory.  I’m praying that as we jump once more into the void that we will find our way.  I’m praying that the spirit of God will catch us and do more than we ask or imagine in the lives of the audience.  He has already told us,

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7

And so we jump blindly, with faith into the void…

*This is part 1 of the Actor’s Notebook series.  Click here for Part 2 and Part 3

**Quote from YouTube video, “Frank Langella Interview (Part 1)” accessed on August 8, 2014

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