Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My First Rehearsal

I've been hesitant to write about this—in fact, even thinking about writing gives me butterflies. Well, first I wasn't going to tell people that I was trying out (or in more proper but less macho terms, auditioning) because I didn't think I would be selected. They gave options. Write and read a less than 5-minute piece about your Birthright Israel experience or perform a memorized piece about anything. Oh, and send in your theater resume if you have one. Huh? I almost gave up there, but decided that opportunity to work with Vanessa Hidary (a Def Jam poet) was a potential experience worth the embarrassment. So on I wrote, read, and received - an email back stating that I was selected.

Tonight's the first rehearsal and it's fair to say I'm scared shitless. I don't know if the fact that it's a group rehearsal makes it better or worse. I guess it depends on how many of these people have that theater resume they asked for.

I'm not ready to share that piece yet, but maybe I'll feel differently after tonight. I'm not sure if that's what I'll be performing or if I'll be asked to write something else. I guess I'll just have to see. I'm not ready to send out the performance info either...but that I'm sure I'll pass on close to the date in early November. And lastly, far be it from me to give advice, but I do want to mention two things:

1. As uncomfortable as this whole process (mostly, the idea of performing spoken word poetry) makes me so far even the act of auditioning was rewarding. It felt like pretty good public speaking practice if nothing else. So, I'm of course not the first to encourage anyone reading this to try things outside of your comfort zone, and I surely won't be the last.
2. The process of creating something from scratch was extremely rewarding. Every once in a while I'll start with a blank piece of paper, word doc or powerpoint for work, this blank blog post rectangle even. But even in almost all of those cases I have an idea of what I'm going to write - some slides to recycle from presentations past, google to search for topic pov's, a link or video to embed. I don't draw or sew or build (Ikea furniture doesn't count, and even if it did, I don't think I could count it), and I only had my own mind as a resource/to get me through this exercise. It was worth it even if I hadn't gotten picked (but then who knows if you'd ever know :)).

Anyway, I'll keep you posted but in the meantime would love to hear any similarly rewarding stories (comment or shoot me an email - seth.gaffney@gmail.com).


Eric said...

Good luck bro. Kudos for sharpening your presentation skills like this - there is nothing like public speaking and getting out of your normal Planning element to help keep you shark. I hope you share the piece too.

El Gaffney said...

thanks eric. i am considering writing a new piece to perform. once i figure that out, i'll share some of my stories. don't want to ruin the surprise.