Home > Uncategorized > Suppose I Should Make it Official

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.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. jess
    May 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Honestly, I think the audience I was in was a little lackluster in part due to the heat. It was so unbearably hot in that theater!!!

    • Kara
      May 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      I don’t count I guess since I’m part of the theater community but I thought your performance was great! I’m not a loud laugher myself so it may not have come across but I thoroughly enjoyed watching you on stage, especially the scenes with you and Chris. I thought you two were brilliant together!

  2. May 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve never acted, so I can’t speak from experience, but I run with theater crowd and I have heard many of them express similar sentiments about their own performances, usually to my surprise. I think any creative person is their own worst judge. As a writer I never really know when I’ve hit the sweet spot in a story, or just done a passable job, or written complete crap until I hear from readers. I imagine it’s the same for acting. Theater is a close community, getting praise from other theater buffs is nothing to pass off lightly. Being an actors actor, much like being a writer for other writers, has it’s own kind of rewards.

    Some of the best actors and actresses I know personally aren’t constant actors. I’ve seen many of my friends be unhappy with a performance, tale several seasons off, and then get the bug again or see a dream role get offered and go for it. Usually with fantastic results. So basically, this is my long winded way of saying never say never. Take time off, regroup, do other things that interest you right now and I’m sure you’ll be onstage again in the future. And I’m sure many, many people will be glad to see you up there.

  3. Sab
    May 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I admire your guts to move on, especially since you put some time into the occupation. On to better things!

  4. May 27, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I wish I’d gone. I would have been honest with you.
    However, I do hope that this doesn’t mean you’re going to stop writing plays and such. I don’t think that should stop in any way.

  5. May 27, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I will truly miss working with you. You always made it fun for me. And for the record, as someone who has not been on stage for over 10 years, you made it much easier to come out of my shell, because you’re only as good as your fellow cast, and that’s where you get most of your energy from. You helped me a LOT in that aspect, and I thank you.

    I hope you decide to continue doing something with regard to theater, because I think your insight is invaluable, so producing/directing? I think that would be great. Oh, and I nearly forgot the obvious… writing!

    Good luck, Kevin! 🙂

  6. Patrick White
    May 27, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Sorry to hear it. I enjoyed your performance very much and was quite happy with the production and my choice to go see it. One of the first things someone told me about theater and acting was if someone else can talk you out of pursuing it…you shouldn’t be doing it. If that person who can talk you out of doing it is yourself I wonder if you weren’t in it for other’s validation to begin with. Which will never satisfy you no matter what you choose to pursue.
    How can you have a bad time spending weeks in the company of Oscar Wilde? There’s no pleasing some people. Full disclosure: I’ve acted in plays, I’m in rehearsal for “Fool For Love” playing one night only June 17th at ACT and I hope you come see it. There’s no people like show people.

  7. Jeremy
    May 28, 2010 at 3:16 am

    What up fool? Your performance was great. Hope your self-proclaimed retirement match is disregarded. Follow the way of Terry Funk and come back to the stage in a few months.

  8. Jessica R
    May 30, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Well, for what it’s worth, I think you’re making a mistake. No one wants you to make this decision. Not your friends, not the “theater people”, and not even the people in the audience. No one who has ever seen any of your performances would say “Man, I hope Kevin Marshall stops acting.” And I don’t think anyone walked away unfulfilled or not entertained.

    I know you don’t want to make excuses, but one suggestion I have is to try to work with a higher-level of directors. I would suggest trying to work with Laura Andruski. She is such a professional when it comes to theater, and I have seen her draw amazing things from people.

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