Have we ever talked about what I want to do with my life?
You know who I think has the perfect job? Laura Cole. The idea of working with a group of dedicated young professionals is something that's been appealing to me since my apprenticeship at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. I saw what those folks did to me, and what they did to others. I saw how working with Christina Vaccaro and Brian B. Crowe (I think he might be surprised at how much he effected me...) changed my perspective, and opened my eyes. All I could think of was how I wanted some of that.
I find that actors are always talking about wanting to change people's lives on a grand scale. That's a pretty sweeping declaration. Regimes fall and rise, seasons change, entirely based on their performance in something. I'm not going to lie and say it wouldn't be nice to have that kind of adulation, but it isn't what I want, really. I want to work on a small level. I want to change lives, but just one or two people is fine with me. I want to rearrange horizons and see successes and be a part of crafting a well rounded actor. Two of my proudest moments in theatre didn't happen in typical settings, but they did both involve Juliet. I don't know if I'll have time to get into the second one (Casey Northcutt, I love you...), but I'll at least be able to talk about Ashley Boehne.
While in college, we did a 24 hour play festival. I didn't really want to do anything too ambitious, but I did think it would be interested to see technicians acting. I've always been a big believer that technicians ought to act, if actors are expected to do tech work as part of a graduation curriculum. There's no reason I should be expected to take lighting design (which I will never use...believe me. I respect the art and have no facility at it...), if a technician isn't expected to take Acting in Shakespeare.
Anyhow, I got together three techies of varying acting experience and tossed up "Technicians Do Shakespeare" where I would have them each doing a monologue from Shakespeare. Pretty self explanatory, huh? Sarina Richardson, who had the most experience, picked her own monologue, but I recall clearly that Nathan Daly did Hal's "Do not think so you shall not find it so" and Ashley Boehne did "Gallop apace". I worked a bit with Nathan, but spent most of my time with Boehne, who had never acted before.
When it finally came time for her to perform, with less than 24 hours preparation, she was incredibly nervous. But as she sat in the midst of all those pillows laid on a bare stage, she settled into it, giving over to her nervousness. The moment I will always remember was a the "Come, night. Come Romeo." She took such a brief pause and everyone in the audience (EVERYONE!) leaned in slightly, their mouths open. They wanted more of what she had. To this day, one of the most true and beautiful pieces of acting I've ever seen.
So...THAT is why I want to work with actors. I want others to fly, so that I can feel like I had some small part of it.