It’s been almost two months since the bright lights and busy schedule of Professionals Week, and a lot has happened.
I’ve completed my MFA in Directing at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago. My partner has moved to Boston, where he’ll be getting his MFA at the A.R.T./MXAT Institute at Harvard. And I’ve taken up temporary residence in a dorm at Northwestern University, where I’m responsible for the physical, emotional, and theatrical well-being of a bunch of high school seniors in the Cherubs Program.
But one word has stuck with me long after my week in New York – authentic.
As in, be authentic.
My fellow Fellows and I heard that phrase a lot. From our fearless leaders Roger and Gabriel. From publicist Philip Carrubba of O&M Company. Even the inimitable Judith Light told us to “be authentic” before we walked the red carpet at the Drama League Awards.
There are more directors than directing jobs in this country. I think some of us fret so much about snagging those jobs that we focus on trying to say the “right” thing in a meeting or interview. When we do that, we lose sight of who we are and why we want to direct in the first place. I know I’ve done it.
So tonight, as I work on my lesson plans for tomorrow’s classes, as exhausted as I am, I’m reminding myself that right now I’m doing the thing I love. For a living! For the next six months, I have the privilege of working in theatre, without supplementing my income with odd jobs or admin work. If I want to continue enjoying this privilege, I must remain true to myself. I must remain authentic.
I’m so grateful to the Drama League for this opportunity. And I can't wait to see what the fall has in store for me.
Photo: (L to R) my grad school classmate Kevin Kingston, my professor (and DP alum) Lisa Portes, and me