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  • Steph

the fear of trying and the art of letting go

No this isn’t a self-help blog. I promise. I just thought it sounded quite cool, thus exemplifying my slow change in mindset that I am about to talk through.

When we first got the script for Trompe L’Oeil, I was ecstatic. This project has been very hands-on because our group makes up both the creative/cast and production team. This means, as an actor, that I have had more control than I usually would if I were working. As one of the producers and also as virtue of this being the final part of my MFA project, we had the pretty unique privilege of sitting down with our playwright and talking about our goals and needs as actors. The wonderful Cecile listened patiently when I told her I wanted to dive into someone a little uglier, a little twisted, a little harder to understand. This year has offered me many challenges and I have very much been given the roles to stretch me just as I needed to be stretched. I wanted to continue that. I wanted something darker.

I read the script and there she was. Mona. Complicated, dark, views that were definitely not my own. She leapt fully formed into my head and I was terrified. I think that I have a bit of a cycle when it comes to roles. I have an idea, I struggle, I try stuff that doesn’t work, I hit rock bottom, I break through, voila something that ends up on stage. But Mona came to me clearly and I wondered if maybe the struggle wouldn’t be the same.

I was wrong.

I think because I had such a strong vision of who she was I was able to offer a lot. And I was able to offer a lot in the rehearsal room that didn’t work. Because of this year and the slow quietening of that negative voice in my head and the slow build of confidence, I didn’t feel as afraid to bring my Mona into the room. I tried things. I went to extremes.

I don’t have a pretty bow to place on top of this story yet because I am still very much in the middle of it. “Sitting in the shit” as our lovely director Meg calls it. It’s been a little scary to have had such strong ideas and to find out that some of them work and some of them definitely do not. But none of them are wrong. I guess that’s really the point I am getting at here. None of it is wrong. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But right or wrong, good or bad, that doesn’t come into it. And that’s quite refreshing.


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