Black Box Acting: B1

Last day of class got messy af. I was writing on the wall in icing. My colleague was rubbing dirt on his arms and legs. People were throwing fruit at each other. Somehow we were also learning how to act better.

I heard classes at Black Box had the potential to be breakthrough-level dope, and I said "sign me up." (Well actually I had to sign myself up because my administrative assistant is on a pregnancy vacation).

🖕🏼blackbox tradition🖕🏼

oh also i broke that table

This class had me feeling like a total acting novice in the best way. It's really good at rubbing your nose in your defense mechanisms until you decide you're more afraid of living with regrets than you are of telling the truth. I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't therapy, cuz it got pretty personal.

Some people swear by this training, some people don't. I think I loved it, but time will tell.

The instructors, Amanda Fink and Kelly O'Sullivan were just absolute dreams in my book. Incisive and supportive, caring and tough as nails; they were snipers and loan sharks and surgeons and mothers all at the same time. I don't mean that metaphorically: they actually have to work all those jobs. It's a tough business.

Planning to sign up for the next level as soon as my schedule allows.

Antelope Party at Theater Wit


January 2018: Jeremy Weschler (Artistic Director) and Clare Cooney (Casting Director) at Theater Wit asked me to understudy two roles in The Antelope Party by Eric John Meyer.

I hadn't understudied before, so it was a baptism by fire as I memorized the lines and blocking for two significant roles. I had the chance to go on twice for Evan Linder while he was in New York being a famous playwright, and it was exhilarating to jump right in the deep end like that. It happened to be a weekend when a considerable cadre of friends and family were in town (see my post about Lefty and Crabbe at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), so the house was full of my people on the nights I went on.

The cast was incredibly talented (go stalk them online—you'll see.) They also looked great in My Little Pony costumes, as you can tell.

Mary Winn Heider, Annie Munch, Evan Linder, Eddie Mawere, Will Allan and Anu Bhatt (she's the one they're texting)

I learned so much just by watching more seasoned Chicago actors work through their process. Understudies attended one performance per week, and I was able to see how the performances evolved through the run.

Marguerite Genard, Brian Huther, Shaina Schrooten, Michael Turrentine

I now know so much more than I ever anticipated knowing about My Little Pony. The play is also about fascism and how people gradually lose their ability to tell what's ethical when the world around them spirals into groupthink and chaos, so it's not all ponies and rainbows.

The other understudies and I soon became fast friends. They were all such doggamn delightful people, and we still have our group text going months later. 

All my love to the #Underponies slash #Wonderstudies slash #TransplAntelopes.