A week of transitions

Actor's POV
Image by Dramagirl via Flickr
A week of moving from classroom to performance space with the students; selling a home; seeing a child step out. Flying Solo drew breath for the first time this week in public. It’s the umbrella project for the one-person shows the third year acting majors have devised, written, and are presenting as readings for a live audience. It’s always been a thrill to be there at a first reading of a new play; good or bad, there’s an expectation and delight in what will emerge. Some of the work is very good indeed; all will develop further as the weeks go by. The final staged presentation in October will give us some indication of the future of these little dramatic gems. All will give the actors a neat showcase for their work. How nice to be able to say, “Yes I have written a play.”

Spent a day interviewing estate agents on the sale of my parents’ home. Now empty for over 18 months, it was time to let go. Had a mixed reaction to the agents’ taking on the job; wanted to see who would give the best service–bit of an audition really. Only one failed his, so no go. Am hopeful that my sister and I will get a sale soon. Sad to let go, but the memories are locked where they can’t be got at.

Last night my son took to the stage for the opening night of a great production of Beauty and the Beast at Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre. Refurbished exactly 10 years ago, the Empire is celebrating its status as the largest regional theatre in Australia, and arguably the most beautiful. The production of Beauty and the Beast was designed to showcase the theatre and the talent in the region. Under professional production direction, it provided the opportunity for the city and region’s musicians, actors, dancers and creatives to do what they love most. It is a splendid show across the board, and I was as enormously proud to see my child step into the challenge of singing and acting a lead role, and do it so magnificently. As I watched him last night, on stage and speaking with colleagues, guests and others at the after-show reception, I realised that he is ready for his transition now from student to professional actor.

So, a week of transitions. What next I wonder?

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Where have I been?

There have been very few posts to this blog for a couple of weeks, and for good reason. They have all been made to another (private group) blog of mine, which is currently charting the progress of work on a production with a group of acting majors in production on a play Mad Forest by the English writer Caryl Churchill. This play is based on the events surrounding the fall of the Ceaucescu regime in Romania in 1989.

My decision to get the student company members to use this blog as a research tool, and to share their findings, is another experiment on what I am discovering is being called “e-learning” “social networking” and (in creating their own blogs on process which I share as an invited reader) “personal learning spaces.” Results are relatively good; some students have taken to the reflective practice in their own blogs very well; others are either not used to the habit of reflection sufficiently well to make the blog work for them, or simply resistant to using the medium (lack of access at home could well be a problem for some). I’ll be keen to get their feedback at the end of the project as I’ve decided to write a conference paper for delivery later in the year on my own experiments in the field of e-learning.

I’m also enjoying trialling a new app iGTD which is in beta right now. It’s a handy-dandy, very nicely designed productivity tool right out of the GTD box. Each week brings new and better features, including excellent integration with that other beautiful Mac-only app Quicksilver. Part of me misses the Kinkless GTD/Omni Outliner app where I was processing my stuff, but I am liking iGTD very, very much especially how well it syncs info with my .Mac account on the home desktop, my G4 laptop and work machine (iMac).

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A Jolt Out of the Ordinary

Spending the week by the sea at Hervey Bay north of Brisbane, where the Shakespeare Festival has put down roots for its inaugural season away from home. The week has been full of media calls, watching the set emerge again (like magic, but really with the effort and expertise of the technical production team) from a seaside park, and generally going into the “fingers crossed” mode for audience numbers and a positive tick from the community. That way, we get to come back again next year.
The jolt out of the ordinary has been the discovery of a mass/pack/herd/flock (what do you call them) of bats, wonderful, hanging-upside-down, querellous, stinky fruit bats in a patch of forest by the ocean. They fly over in the most wonderful formation around dusk, out on their nightly raid of fruit and small insects. Wonderful atmosphere for the play Macbeth.

The other jolt was a walk along the ocean front this morning … how I love the feel of the sand and the little waves. Tomorrow morning it’s into the briny for a full swim. But first, there’s a show to do … .