I asked one of the visiting actors, Clare Solly, what it is like to be here in Connecticut, working on a show. she said, “why don’t I write something for the blog?” So, in her own words:
Thoughts on being a traveling actor:
Traveling to different cities, and meeting new people is part of the dream of a working actor. In reality, no professional actor (unless they are really lucky, or have a good deal of funding to support them) stays in one place permanently. And really, we are like modern day gypsies: traveling from town to town, entertaining people, and then moving on to do it again somewhere else. Most of my actor-friends LOVE this aspect. And generally, it is pretty great.
Most theaters are great about helping out of town actors find housing or providing housing, which is wonderful, as it provides a working vacation. I always love staying with actual people instead of in hotels, because you get to have a real feel for the area and the people you’re temporarily living with.
There are some drawbacks, though. For me, the most difficult is anticipating what you actually will need, and remembering to bring it with you (and fitting it in to a minimal amount of luggage–with 5 suitcases, you don’t make many friends on the Metro North). Most of the time you can always go out and purchase whatever you forgot, or live without it. For my first three weeks here, I was without a car… so anything I forgot, I really had to live without. You don’t realize what you use everyday, until its not there. Luckily, my Sound of Music cast mates who live locally came to my rescue, and helped me get to the store, or just brought me what I needed. (I still can’t believe I didn’t anticipate the need for Qtips, scissors, ibuprofen, or IcyHot. And my personal “requirement” for flavored creamer probably annoyed the people giving me rides home–as I use A LOT and I asked to stop at the grocery store on the way home almost every other night.) Don’t worry, dear reader, I have now been loaned a car by the theater (initiated by our great Company Manager), I also now have Qtips, and I have also cut my creamer intake by half.
Why do I do it, you may be asking. Theater, for me is a creative collaboration, not just of the people on stage, and those who helped to create the live moving picture on stage, but WITH the audience as well. Everyone in the building adds to the production. (One secret that audiences may not know, and that actors might not realize they do, is that we actors are watching and rating you as an audience by your reactions and applause, just as the audience is watching and applauding our performance. And the more you give to us, the more we give back to you.) Many actors will tell you that they perform for the sound of applause (as NONE of us do it for the money–its not that good, unless you’re famous), but its more than that. Its the same wonderful feeling as it is to give a perfect gift for a great friend, and receive an unexpected one in return.
If you, live in the Sharon area and would like to be part of the TriArts community by having one of our actors or technical staff in your home next summer, please give Alice Bemand a call at the theater phone number shown at the top of this blog.