Finding my artistic voice

I am still finding my artistic voice/vocation and those of you who know me well or have been keepingup  with my blog know that I have been struggling with this for some time now.

Yesterday was an interesting one because I was wall to wall busy with creative activities. I have missed that feeling because I feel that I do not get the artistic satisfaction from my internship as much as I would like. I feel like I am not learning what I want to or what I should know but still, I am trying to learn as much as I can because education is everything. I am taking some part acting classes while in New York and I feel more comfortable getting back into the swing of rehearsing and scene analysis yet auditioning has not been going well for me. I have decided I need more training and will continue to pursue this when I return home and into the future, again I don’t know what path I am going down but I’m trying my best and education is a good first step. I am taking a Meisner masterclass located in the Players Theater in the West Village and while I am enjoying it and learning a lot; I still feel like I am not doing enough for myself so I still auditioning in my spare time for plays and short films.

I awoke yesterday with a mix sense of nerves but excitement and hope. I was hopeful that it would be a busy but good day.  I awoke like I usually do in the mornings: tired, hot and with a sense of restlessness.  I find it is impossible to get a good night sleep during the summer months even with the A.C on full blast, my thoughts are going a mile a minute and I can’t seem to turn them off so I spend most of the night tossing and turning. I arose from my bed exhausted but also determined to get through the day and before I knew it, I was running out the door already late for class and thanks to the stupid train delays but none the less, I arrived only 10 minutes late and ready to go. I was low in confidence at the start but after me and my scene partner rehearsed our scene a few times over with direction from our teacher, I was feeling much better around the scene and the work I had done. After class, I went to a nearby cafe to rehearse over my lines and tried to eat lunch however my stomach was in knots and made it impossible to eat anything.

It was also 30 degrees and 86% humidity so I was slowly turning into one sweaty betty considering I was already nervous. Naturally, I thought it was a great idea to walk 20 minutes to my audition in the sweltering sun and heat and by the time I got there, I was gross with sweat but I did my best to freshen up and register for an audition slot. It was being held in the Drama BookShop in Times Square and it was packed with people either browsing or rehearsing in the aisles. I sign in and registered, gave them a copy of my scene and facepalmed when they asked for a copy of my headshot and resume…I forgot to bring one in my folder…the main thing they needed. I think I was off to a rocky start; I apologised and said I had emailed them a copy to which they said that was fine. I tried to get into rehearsal zone and started practicing in the corner while trying to calm my nerves. I knew my lines and the scene well but still a little extra practice never hurts.

I thought I was getting on quite well with the company members at the registration desk as we were chatting before I was called in; basically me trying to redeem my stupidity from earlier. I was called to go downstairs to the theater space and waited to be called in. They had another Irish girl in their company to be my scene partner so it was strange to be acting opposite an Irish accent again. I was greeted by the artistic director and led up to the stage area and sat on stage in front of the whole company. Talk about daunting but I was ready. I paused and took a breath.

The scene had started, I knew I could do this and yet just like that I tripped up on a line and that led to my scene partner getting confused. I tried to save myself by doubling up but that led to more confusion for her. I fucked up. I shook it off and kept the scene going as if nothing happened. I thought I recovered, it was time for my character’s monologue and I was nailing it, I was giving it my all with passion and anger but it wasn’t enough. The next thing I hear is ‘Ok, you can stop there; I’ve seen enough, thank you for coming in’; it was the artistic director down the back of the room and I was dumbfounded. I was only half way through the scene…and I was finished just like that. I was applauded by the company and shown out the door. I thanked them for their time and thanked the girls at the registration desk and left.

I blew it. I tried so hard and I still blew it. The knocks don’t get any easier because I really wanted this opportunity. I just need a creative boost; I just want to be part of a creative community that would help me be a better actor and artist but it has been something I have struggled with while being in New York. Maybe it’s a sign I’m meant to do something else, maybe I’m no good or maybe I need to go down a different route. So I left that audition feeling pretty deflated….but not for long as shortly after, I was on my way uptown to attend my first artist salon. My friend Caroline had invited me to attend the monthly artist salon hosted by the Irish American Writers & Artists .

It is a ‘organization dedicated to the celebration of Irish American writers, actors, musicians, filmmakers and artists’ and this was the perfect place for my to showcase my writing, especially my work in progress piece High Heels Are Not My Friends. I was registered to read at a 5 minute slot and again the nerves were bubbling but I was determined to feel the fear and do it anyways. Everyone at the event was so friendly and supportive and It made me feel better about performing my own work. After a short introduction, I began. I was shaking and not used to speaking into a microphone but I kept going. I kept going and let the words flow and it felt scary but in a good way.

I finished and awkwardly moved aside from the microphone and was met with an array of warm faces and applause. It felt good especially after feeling the crushing blow from early that afternoon. I awkwardly said thank you and returned to my seat to be met with ‘well done’ from Conor and Caroline. I’m glad I stood up and performed.

Afterwards the salon was finished, we mingled and I thanked the organisers for having me and letting me share my work. I highly recommend attending an open mic night or a salon event as it is a great way to practice your work/performance aloud and get  constructive feedback as well. I definitely enjoyed my time and hope to go again in the future before I return home.

It’s crazy how your confidence can change in a short time and with a good amount of belief, self-care and positive energy, you can achieve it. You just have to keep going.

Just like I will keep going.

Much love,

Ari

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