I was unable to post during my acting internship at Shakespeare Santa Cruz last summer because I was so busy with all the amazing activities. However, it was so much fun and such a valuable experience that I'd like to share some thoughts to mark it in my journal here. So, I am re-posting the text of a blog post I wrote for the Shakespeare Santa Cruz official blog, the Green Room, about my process, experience, and especially my time working on the Fringe Show, La Ronde. You can see the full blog here: http://www.shakespearesantacruz.org/blog/
From Acting Intern Brenan Dwyer (**Note from Gina: Tonight marks the opening of our annual Fringe Show. This year it’s La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler, directed by Kirsten Brandt. The Fringe Show is my favorite production of the season because it gives our acting interns a chance to shine in leading roles. If you’ve never been, don’t miss it. Performances are tonight and next Tuesday — all tickets $14!)
I was excited when I received my casting as The Young Wife in La Ronde, but I also felt a moment of fear. Aside from the stupid actor fears of hoping my scene partners don’t think I’m horribly ugly, or worrying what people will think of me in my undergarments, I also harbored some deeper fears that related to our play’s wonderful theme: Sex.
But why should I be scared of sex? It’s all around us, right? Pop stars in skimpy costumes, hunky models in an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue… Sex finds its way into conversation casually— think about the now widespread joke from The Office, “That’s what SHE said,” turning everything into a double entendre. Furthermore our reputations are often determined by who we are sleeping with, or who we have or have not been with. There is certainly a very public side to sex.
But there’s a side of sex that is personal and experiential—what it means and what it has revealed about us is something truly only known to the people involved in the act. So imagine taking these most intimate and revealing moments and presenting them to two audiences of strangers in an outdoor space. That’s what La Ronde does. So maybe you can see why I was a little scared.
Luckily, as interns, we have been learning from the professionals surrounding us. I remember being especially struck by a note given by Scott Wentworth, my director for Love’s Labor’s Lost, for the acting company as we moved into the Glen from our rehearsal space. He noted that just because we as actors share our feelings with the audience, it doesn’t mean that we lose feeling them within us. Watching the acting company take this direction and thrive, I realized that this truly is the core of acting—not being fearless, but doing what you must do with fear as your companion.
A noble venture. Very hard to do. Throughout the rehearsal process for this play, I have tried to prepare myself for sharing my intimate feelings with an audience. At times this feels voyeuristic, but at other times it feels supportive and freeing. I have felt inspired by the hard work of my fellow interns, by the fun and sensitive direction of Kirsten and our assistant director Kathleen, and pushed to be a better actor by the supportive company surrounding me.
I can only hope the hard work pays off and that I have a lot of fun tonight.
See you there!
–Brenan Dwyer, Acting Intern
Brenan Dwyer's Blog
Looking for happiness in art daily.