Reunion in Malibu!
Yes, it's that 'nudie' play I did in Cape Cod years ago; the sequel to that 'nudie' play actually; which is going into rehearsals this spring in New York. Oh, the irony.
In New York, play readings usually take place inside a rehearsal hall, or a black box theater, sometimes even at the director or writer's house, given the amount of people involved.
However, in Los Angeles, sometimes play readings take place outside, in Malibu, under a sunny turquoise sky, at the house of the prestigious and elegant Ms. Jackie Bridgemann, by...a pool? No wonder, I still feel like I'm on vacation.
Now, for the purposes of clarity I will refrain from creating character names for the real people who are playing the characters in the play whilst describing them to you in this blog.
Or else everyone including myself will be severely confused.
Remember my friend Spencer who I ran into at a producer session that I recognized on my reel; whom I also saw in a staged reading of a play by Oren Safdie, where I also ran into Brendan Hughes, the director of the "Private Jokes, Public Places" Cape Cod production, that I understudied in New York, that Oren Safdie wrote?!
Yes, that's the real title of the play, "Private Jokes, Public Places."
Well, my friend Spencer along with myself, was also asked to do the reading this past Saturday, of the sequel to Private Jokes, titled The Bilbao Effect.
But here's where the reunion really felt like kismet; Spencer and I played opposite each other in that Law & Order episode years ago, where he was cross examining my character on the stand while defending another.
The name of his client in that episode years ago is the same name of my character in the play that we did this past Saturday, and he is cross examining me again!It was all so oddly synchronistic, the coming together of so many coincidences and familiarities. Kismet.
I don't really believe in coincidences, however but I do believe in cause and effect and chaos theory. I love chaos theory.
I was so happy before we even started that I felt like I was buzzing while sitting next to Mike Genovese, another actor in the reading whom I also recently saw in Christopher Durang's new play in Hollywood.
I was so grateful for the moment. The fabulous script, the company at hand, the gorgeous sky, the hills, the pool, the trees, everything was perfect; then all of a sudden something in me went,
"Wait? Can you do this? You've been in on-camera classes for the last year and a half. Can you do this today? It's theater now. Everyone here is top notch. Can you do this?"
Oh brother. You know what you say to that voice when it comes up? And it will come up for all professions that are creative-based. You say nothing. Absolutely nothing.
You ignore it. You look it straight in the face and shove it aside and you keep on doing what it is you know you can do. And I did.
As an actor, when you're doing something, ultimately, it shouldn't feel like you're doing anything at all, because acting is just letting yourself be, so that you're not 'acting' at all.
It should feel easy. It should feel natural. And it should make you happy. Don't doubt those sensations.
And maybe that feeling of panic was right in some way; maybe I was just feeling what the character was feeling at the time. Letting everything inform you and the work is also part of letting yourself be.
The play was brilliant and hysterical. It was so rewarding to work with a cast of actors as prepared and comfortable in who they are as people, thereby making the characters that much more alive and ready.
We could have gone into rehearsals right then and there! Yes, I belong. Yes, I am happy. And yes, I'm willing to see what happens.
Just like that. Life and then real life.
I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, on my way up to meet some friends, chasing another beautiful sunset thinking the whole time,
"How lucky, to get to act and then drive past the beach!"
Who knows if I'll get to do the production in New York or not. The Universe knows I would love to, but maybe there will be a production here in Los Angeles soon.
This may sound hokey but I don't care; I believe that whatever is to come out of this project, this reading, this reunion has already been set into motion. Trust and thank you.
(photos courtesy of Geoffrey Wade)
Yours Truly -- Ann Hu