Friday, June 21, 2013


For the next two weeks, Alexandra, one of our talented Overtures students, is taking over our blog. Check back for daily updates!
Wednesday, June 19

The dictionary defines “breakthrough” as an act of breaking through an obstacle, a sudden advance, or a person’s first notable success. As Day Four of Overtures came to a close, I could no longer count  the number of breakthrough moments our company had already had.

So much of what we do as actors, musicians and dancers is done behind the scenes in table work and rehearsal that it is easy for the audience to forget the effort that goes into a final performance. But with two weeks devoted entirely to working through our own individual preparation processes, as well as learning from others’ practice, our company is seeing so many of those vulnerable moments of frustration, so many of the incredibly satisfying moments of discovery - those breakthroughs.

It can often feel that as actors we are constantly throwing ourselves to the wolves in auditions and cattle calls. We can spend months scrambling for work. We can be proud to put something up on its feet and then be devastated by that one really horrible review. So when we do have the opportunity to revisit how we prepare, the chance to repair our creative routines, the freedom to explore once again, we may find ourselves somehow both reluctant and anxious  for the sting of honest feedback. We were warned on Sunday that we might need to invest in Kleenex after all. Acting is work. Acting is emotional.

But we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t truly love it. All of it (the joys and the tears). Over the next two days, as we wrap up Week One of Overtures 2013 with midterms (a word that, I’ll admit, brings back many an unnerving memory from my college days!) we are bound to have many more breakthroughs. Sure, those moments may follow near breakdowns, however, those critics offering brutal honesty and insight are also our closest friends (our fellow company members) and our greatest advisers (our reassuring instructors). We could not be among more encouraging people as we work through dance phrases, practice monologues on lunch breaks, or check in with each other after particularly frustrating classes or one-on-one sessions. Just like one of our final showcase songs says, “I could almost go to pieces, but I’m not quite there yet.”
Instructors Tracy Lynn Olivera and Matthew Gardiner give Sarah Anne feedback on her performance.


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