2020. "Well, you sure picked a heck of a year to dig into training, didn't you?" Oh boy, did we ever. And yet, I'd argue we are the lucky ones. And for that specific reason, too.
As it is with everyone, challenges have been many this year. But what conservatory allowed me to experience and practice was how to breathe through it and rise up rather than shy away. It's allowed me the opportunity to practice how to be a more persistent, confident, collaborative, patient and empathetic artist.
What stands out to me as THE foundational lesson from this year's training would be 2 things: 1.) the power of priority, and 2.) the delightful simplicity of storytelling. We never need to push, come up with, or have a tight grip on things. All we need is a willingness to prioritize the story and allow it to fill you up completely-- then exhale it.
This year has freed me up to the realization that acting is not about me, it is about the story. It has allowed me to stop worrying about myself and my ability to tell a story and instead trust myself, freeing me up to put my energy towards listening and connecting. In all my previous years of training, there was this nagging concern for my performance and my perfectionistic attitude certainly didn't help. I was experiencing a hollowing out and a stagnation in my growth as an artist, but my time with the Carol Hickey Acting Studio Conservatory has changed that. I love that I find myself celebrating any opportunity to let a story play through me now. To create for the sake of creating, with a deep joy for the process, is what I've learned and what I aim to continue fostering in myself.
Sure, things were turbulent and just like the rest of the world, our schedules and lives were constantly being turned upside down. But we kept leaning in and letting go so we'd expand in this overwhelming time, not shrink away. As artists, I think this expansion is our privilege and simultaneously our cross to bear. Expanding in the face of discomfort, and leaning in when everyone else runs away, is the challenge of creation. But oh man, is it a worthwhile one.
As for the future, I am more excited than ever to continue nurturing and building my acting career. I am currently represented by Angela Bennett with Bennett Connection until the end of 2020, but am planning my move to Atlanta in either February or March. I will be seeking representation in that market and look forward to cultivating more creative relationships there!
We had a "Create Your Own Content" course where we were challenged to create our own short films from start to finish. The goal was not only to understand all the pieces/roles that go into making a film, but also to empower us to create our own content and expand our creativity to new heights! Needless to say, it was a blast. I completed my 6 and a half minute film and submitted it to a few different film festivals. Because of the festival rules, I cannot have the full film available publicly online. I am sharing a teaser trailer for it and the film poster for viewing. However, if you want to see the full film, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly share the password with you so you can input it when clicking on this link.