Cape Cod 2013 Journal – Day Negative Six

Detective Terrence BrowderIt’s almost time.
I’ve gotten the majority of my affairs in order; sublet my pace, moved the majority of my belongings back to Long Island, trained my sister to take over my day job for the summer (thanks, Missy), I’m even fairly organized and almost packed. Crazy, I know.
The last couple of weeks have been stressful, building up to Saturday. Before I got the gig on the Cape this summer I was asked to be in a film by the screenwriter who wrote Shankman’s. The project was a Cop short, a parlor scene. Based on how amazing his script for Shankman’s was I signed on without even reading the script, trusting he had a witty, brilliant script and a character that was right for me, even a cop. He didn’t disappoint. But I spent most of the process second guessing myself. Never saw myself playing a cop before. On top of all that we – due to schedule restrictions and the fact that I’m leaving in a week – had ONE DAY to film this. 16 pages of dialogue. One day. Oh did I mention the writer was directing and it was his first time doing that? Yeah. I was stressing.
Thankfully pretty much everyone on set had worked together before, on Shankman’s, and we were very comfortable with each other. We had done just enough work in rehearsal that we were solid in our performances, while still being loose and trying new things in the room. We shot it as a teleplay, running through the whole thing from different angles each time. The result was tight, natural performances with some of the best actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and a stellar crew that I would sign on to work with forever.
I’m sitting here trying to describe this experience but it is impossible to do that. The feeling in the room when every one is in the zone, clicking and working off of each other. Knowing what each person was going to do before they do it. Feeding off of each other’s energy. It is the closest thing I’ve had to a spiritual experience. Praise Thespis.
The craziest thing is we got it done! Crew called at 8. Actors got there around 10. On set at noon. In the can by 8:30. I’ve never experienced anything like that. Every one of us to a man was completely spent by the end, having left everything we had on set (and by on set, I mean Adam’s living room). A few of us had a quick dinner and I went home and passed out at midnight, exhausted and satisfied.
Now, as I sit on the LIRR headed in to the city for my last week of day job for the summer, I’m no longer stressed. I’m riding the high from this weekend. But, most importantly, I’m reminded why I do this. Why I live at the limit of my means in the most expensive city in the US. Not that the feeling was ever lost; but over time, as this industry wears on you, as your other life, your survival life starts to take over in the wake between projects; as those waves crash against your rock those feelings fade. And the only thing we can do to survive is to hold on to them. To hold on to those moments. Moments like Saturday. I head in to this week relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on my next project with a newfound energy. And I can’t get there fast enough.

Cape Cod: I hope you’re ready for me.

Thank God For Music

Seriously, thank God for music.
I just got out of a rehearsal that was really stressful. By the time we done and I was on the train my brain just wasn’t working. I felt stressed and like I was suddenly nowhere with this character and that I was suddenly not going to have enough time to really do everything. I was panicking. My brain felt like all that was there was static and that was stressing me out because I needed my brain to focus on what the problem was and…
Well you get the idea, my brain was all over the place.
I took a breath and put on some music. Continue reading

Snippets from the Actor’s Journal: An Old Coat

“… Finding my rhythm within Shakespeare’s words again is a little like putting on a jacket you haven’t worn in a very long time. It has stiffened in places and you’ve grown out of the sleeves and it smells a bit musty but after a good wash and a little tailoring, and wearing it down in all the right places so it fits just the way you like it and its new again. Better even. We’re not at that place yet. Still smells a but musty…” – Shakespeare Shakedown: Midsummer Nights Dream, rehearsal journal 2 (1/10/2013)

Performance High

Acting really is a drug.
I mean, when we talk about a performance high we aren’t kidding, it is a high. And it isn’t just from performances. I just got out of a rehearsal that left me so jazzed, my brain and my body just tingling, I couldn’t stop talking the whole way home. To anyone: cast mates, strangers, myself. When we say that you don’t become and actor because you want to, you become one because you half to, that might just be the junkie in us all at the first step of a 12 step program, admitting we have a problem.
Hi. My name is Thomas. And I’m addicted too this feeling.
I’m addicted to the way it makes my toes feel in my feet, the way it makes my brain light up.
I’m addicted to the energy boost and the lightening of my mood.
The way I’m so jazzed I can’t stop moving, I may start dancing, I may start singing or jabbering or flying, I may do anything.
I can do anything.
My name is Thomas and I’m addicted to performing.
And this addiction is real. I have to get my fix. Be it from writing or singing or acting or just telling a joke at a party. I feel it. A deep need. It’s why I fall into such a deep depression when it is gone. Why that emptiness is so potent because when I have it I feel so full with life, with purpose, with being.
With this drug. Acting.
I guess there are addictions that are worse, but some that are healthier too. And while I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a problem… I have something.
An addiction.

I’m ready for my close up.

Really, Again With This?

I have had a lot of Blogs and Journals before. I have been an avid writer on and off my whole life and, since junior high, I’ve been posting those things to the internet in various formats. I’ve had a Live Journal, and a Live Journal knock-off when I forgot my password and couldn’t get an invite link. I’ve had blogs for stories, blogs for shameless self promotion, I even for a season wrote a sports blog analyzing the New York Jets (that one was called “Monday Morning Namath” and is still a name I am most proud of).
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