Monday, October 6, 2008

How acting found me..

If you haven't already guessed..I adore acting. I'm not sure how far it will take me, or if it's even something I want to pursue for that matter, but I love it. I love being on stage and getting to transform into a different character. I think one of the reasons that I love it so much, is that for the brief few minutes that I am on stage, I get to be someone else. I can completely escape from my own world and be a part of someone else's. That's probably the same reason that I love to write stories, and to read. I love being immersed in a story that's not my own. So far I have only been involved in plays at my school, but it's so amazing. The thing is, I am very shy around people I don't know very well. Up until a few years ago, speaking in front of a large group of people terrified me. Even just speaking in front of my class would make me sick to my stomach. But now, when I'm acting or presenting at school, I go into this zone. I get completely excited to speak in front of people. It's so weird. I owe it all to the acting I've done at my school. It completely pushed me out of my comfort zone, so that I am now able to speak in front of people and look completely confident. So, my getting involved in acting does come with a story. And, while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and share my entire acting experience with you, so YOU should feel special!
Around the middle of 7th grade, the middle school was putting on a play in our gym, Peter and the Wolf, I think it was called. I thought that it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen! I saw kids my age acting in front of tons of people. Of course, I quickly shrugged off the thought that I would ever get up in front of people and do something like that. I wanted too, so badly. But I was completely afraid. Later in the week I slept over at Emily's house. I heard her mom talking to her about getting involved in the middle school drama. She said that she had talked to the director, and that it would be fine if Emily wanted to come. Before I knew what I was doing, I volunteered to go with her. So, we went, and the first thing she had us do was read a monolgue (which was basically our audition for the upcoming play). I practiced and practiced for this audition. I memorized the monolgue. But, when it came time for me to perform, I did terrible. You could barely hear me, and I'm pretty sure I hid behind the paper I was reading from. We were doing the play Macbeth, and I got the part of one of the witches. I was really upset at first, especially because Emily got a lead role. But, it ended up being a really fun part. I was really worried at first about people recognizing who I was (the witches looked kinda creepy) and so I asked our director if we could wear masks. But, in the end I toughed it out, and did a creepy witch voice in front of the whole middle school. I only had like 4 lines, but at that time, this was a huge step for me. I completely fell in love with drama. 
Next year, 8th grade, I took drama as an elective. For most of the year we just learned the basics of acting, and later in the year we did a small play. Our director also taught high school drama. She offered all of the girls a chance to be extra's in their play, Little Women. So I was an extra, I think I had maybe one line. There was one girl in middle school drama who was given a small role in the high school play. She had a decent amount of lines though. I was so jealous of her. I wanted to be the best actress to be given a high school role. Well, a few weeks later, our director offered me the role of Mrs. Kirke in Little Women. I was so ecstatic. This play was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I could see myself improving as an actress. We did another middle school play later in the year, (All the Worlds a Stage, in which I played Portia) but it was not nearly as amazing.
So, freshman year. I was so excited to finally be able to audition for high school drama (no more boring middle school plays). I auditioned for Emma, and got the role of Harriet Smith (the same role that Traci, one of my best friends, received). I loved being Harriet. She was so like me, and so it was easy to be her. Finally having a lead role was amazing. That play was so much fun. Next semester I auditioned for Twelfth Night. I didn't think I would get a role in this play. I was completely surprised when I found out that I would be playing Olivia! I wanted this role so bad. But it proved to be a very challenging role for me. The director yelled at me a lot, there were many times when I really wanted to quit. I knew I wasn't very good at playing her, she was nothing like me. Very close to the performance, our director came up to me and told me that if I wasn't improving by Monday, that she would replace me. This was so hard on me. But, I decided that I was going to prove her wrong. I was going to be the best actress she had ever seen. I spent the entire weekend rehearsing my lines and trying to become Olivia. When it came time for my scene on Monday, I blew everyone away. To my satisfaction, the director was completely amazed. I finally proved to myself, and everyone else, that I could act. So far, this is my favorite role that I have played. I actually became someone who was completely opposite of myself.
And now, my sophomore year. I auditioned for The Secret Garden. I actually have a very small, but interesting role. I play Lilias, who is Archibald Craven's dead wife. I appear to him in memories throughout the play. I actually got to write a few of the scenes which is pretty cool. Although, playing this role is a bit embarrassing. I have some interesting love scenes with Archibald Craven, and everyone likes to make fun of me, UGH. But, it's a fun role to play and I'm interested to see how the play turns out. I'll post updates on rehearsals and such as the performance nears in December.
And, I am also extremely excited for next semesters play that I am auditioning for. It is my favorite book and movie. Pride and Prejudice! I can't wait!


Emily Ruth said...

eek! love the post deanna!
I can't wait to see secret garden either!
you were jealous of me? how come I never knew that.. it would've been a nice self esteem boost ;)
just kidding. you are an amazing actress, and I wouldn't be surprised if you did do something with it later in life!

Emily Ruth said...

AAH I'm at the top of your friend list!

Traci said...

wow, great post deanna! I remember that day when you completely blew us away. I walked on stage you said your line and I had trouble saying my next line, I was so shocked.

You go girl!