Monday, July 28, 2008

The Final Curtain

A great big thanks goes out to all the people who came to see No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs. I really appreciate the support. It's the fuel that keeps my fire burning.

Last night was my last performance for the off-off-Broadway production of No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs. I took my final bow and yes I made it through the hectic and challenging 15-show run. Despite the stress from rushing from my job to the city, the road rage, tickets, towing and last week's accident, I can still say with all my heart that this was an enriching experience. Performing in front of an audience five nights a week brought out a different energy in me. It felt great to be back on stage. The support and the feedback I received from friends and family was also really positive, which caught me off-guard.

Before I began this endeavor I had moments when I doubted myself or felt like I was getting in over my head, but now I
can look back and see that when I really want something all I need to do is trust in myself and rely on the support of my inner circle.

Last week, I went online and Googled the play. I came across a couple of reviews. The first I read was from Backstage (a publication for actors in NYC and LA), which wasn't a spectacular review for the show. However, Irene Backalenick, the reviewer, did give credit to the strong performances.

"With a small makeshift stage and uneven casting, the show falters. Yet, the black family is so faithfully portrayed that one becomes deeply involved in their fates. Fine performances are offered not only by Mitchell but also by Patrick Mitchell as her husband and Aaliyah Miller and Skai Konya as their daughters."

I wasn't expecting that accolade but it felt good to receive the acknowledgment. It made me smile from the inside out, so much in fact that I had to send it to all my family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else on my email list. Positive recognition is a great reinforcement when an actor can get it, especially when you don't anticipate it.

I know some of my close friends and family thought I was crazy for commuting back and forth from Connecticut to New York City to do this play. They might have been right, but I felt this was an opportunity that I couldn't and shouldn't pass up. For me, it was worth it. I feel like I got back three-fold from the experience. Not only did I get to perform, but I got to know a great group of talented people that I will be able to network with in the future.
Now that the play is done, I have to move forward. I feel bitter-sweet about the whole thing.

Since beginning this play, another thing that has been reinforced to me is that I must continue to keep a few projects in motion and maintain my focus for the bigger picture. While things have taken off on an acting front, I feel a bit disappointed on the writing front. I received a couple of rejection emails last week from script competitions I entered. Although I have moments of self-doubt, I remind myself that it isn't always a matter of being talented (which I still question if I am). Sometimes I just think I'm a hard worker who refuses to give in. I believe I will figure it out the more I continue to write and act.

Whether I'm writing or acting, the reality is I will get a hell of lot more rejections than yeses. I read somewhere where it's like a thousand nos before than one life changing yes. Damn, I guess it's good that I have more time to focus on my next set of goals. It is time to exercise my writing muscle again. I have a couple of stories in my head that I need to get onto paper. While I wait for more rejection letters I need to keep busy, that way I don't think about the rejections.

On a positive note, I'm please to report that I'll be in another play, Anton in Show Business. It's a comedy and I'll be working with a new group of actors.
I'm looking forward to the project. This play will be a lot easier on my schedule, since rehearsals and performances will be in New Haven, CT. Performances are scheduled for three weekends in October.

In the meantime I must keep telling myself that success is possible. Dream big and start small.

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