Making Love to Transitions

Yesterday was a big day. I quit my day job and have launched on a journey of full-time self-employment. It's a big step and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I've been working towards this for a while now. I have hopes, dreams and something approximating a plan. I absolutely love this place.

This place is a time of major transition, the door has been closed on a known and comfortable existence and I do not yet know where I will end up. I wish more pieces of my humble scheme were less plan-ish and more solidly in place so that the leap was a little less leap-ish. But then the thrill would also be less thrill-ish. Right now I am looking into a future that holds not just success or failure, but a myriad of ways to succeed or fail. It reminds me of when I moved back to the US from Paris. Standing in the terminal of Charles de Gaulle Airport with a ticket for New York in my hand, Iooking at the departures board – LA, Singapore, Dubai, Stolkholm- it occured to me that I could go anywhere. Since I had already checked my bags I decided to stick with NY, but for that moment, when I had cut my ties with Paris and not yet landed in a new place, I was like Digory and Jill standing in the Wood Between the Worlds (CS Lewis reference there, sure to be the first of many).

Places of transition are dramatic moments, fraut with danger and excitement both in real life and on stage. For the physical actor transitions are opportunities to flesh out a character and capitalize on the drama or comedy of the process. Transitions give us the chance to surprise an audience by changing direction, and to draw them in with the suspense of a decision not yet made, all wrapped up in the hope and fear embedded in the unknown. Fast or slow, they are opportunities to say something about the character you play. The body can show to great effect a human in a state of uncertainty, faced with multiple options, seized by either hope or fear of the unknown, or torn between the two. The journey through a transition is one of the most crucial aspects of creating engaging physical theater. I don't expect everyone out there shares my love of real-life changes. But if you are an actor, learn to make love to transitions on stage.

 

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