Suppose I Should Make it Official
It was alluded to on a recent TimesUnion.com blog post, and I’ve told barely a handful of people alredy, but I figure I might as well make it official.
Importance of Being Earnest was most likely my final performance as an actor.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I made a promise to myself from the onset that this would be a make or break role for me. It was my biggest and most high profile to date, and for that I thank the folks at Confetti for giving me the opportunity.
The bottom line, though, is that I must not have it in me.
Acting fulfills a need for me creatively, and I enjoy doing it. However, I’m also of the impression that if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. To that end I strived and tried to become better as an actor with every role I received. If I felt I was improving, I would keep going. Like a shark, I needed to know that I was moving forward in the craft in order to survive and thrive in it.
The bottom line, though, is that I put everything I could into my performance and it still fell flat. You’ll often hear actors, especially local actors, blame an uneducated or unappreciative audience for a lack of reaction and engagement during a performance. I hold the belief that it is only the hopeless amateur that blames the audience for his or her own shortcoming and misgivings.
Again, I was not given any compliments that didn’t come from someone who didn’t feel compelled or have a vested interest in doing so. I suppose if we were reviewed I could have gotten a more honest observation, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
The fact is, I have too many other projects that could occupy my time and energy to devote myself to something that is ultimately an artistic failure on my part. I attracted an audience, in many cases complete strangers, through my efforts on the Times Union blog, Twitter, and old-fashioned footwork and word of mouth. And, to be honest, I did not get the impression that they enjoyed themselves.
The only ones who did are the ones who are themselves personally invested in local community theater. And what good is entertainment or art if it’s only the other entertainers and artists patting each other on the back?
I won’t and can’t operate under false pretenses, and it’s ultimately my reputation on the line when I pull in people that walk away from a performance not entertained or fulfilled.
So, it’s been fun, and it’s been a ride. To coin a cliche, it was a rollercoaster. Time for the carnies to raise the safety bar so I can get off.