Around the beginning of September, I decided to get back to basics. There had been subtle hints in my life in recent months, for me to take an important step in my career: more training, specifically improvisation. Then, after researching various programs, including Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB), The Magnet Theater, and the People’s Improv Theater (PIT), I decided on the PIT. Both UCB and the PIT have very similar programs, and many people have crossed over between each program. The founder of the PIT was even a co-founding member of UCB. Needless to say, improv is a tightly-knit community.
I’m halfway through my class at the People’s Improv Theater for level 1. My ultimate plan is to do the whole program because, like I said to my fabulous teacher last week, I feel like it’s really helping me as an actor and with the writing of my show. It has forced me to be in the moment as actor. It has forced me to listen to what my scene partner is talking about, and as a result, react. With improv, there is no script, there is no anticipation of what will happen next. It’s the best decision I’ve made socially, in terms of my career, and for my overall happiness. I am happy, and I’m smiling. I don’t know what’s going to happen next in my career, but that’s the thrill of it I guess. So..can you say, “Yes, and?”
He got an Oscar nod for Revolutionary Road, starred in everything from big budget blockbusters like Man of Steel, to indie films like Take Shelter, and still finds time to get back to his theatrical roots onstage in NYC. Michael Shannon has been one of my favorite actors since I saw him in 2006’s adaptation of Tracy Letts’ play Bug. Like most actors, I have a list. My fellow actors will know it well. It’s a mental list comprised of people we dream of working with. We want to act with talented people. We want to spar with them, connect with them, act our hearts out with them. Well, he’s one of those actors. He’s on my list. Boy he’s one of those actors that just makes me go, “I want to study more. I want to get even better. I want to get to be as good as him/her.” His subtly in Revolutionary Road was so good, that there were moments where I forgot he was playing a character. He has a range that is hard to match nowadays and is someone who knows when to get back on the boards (the stage) and stretch his acting muscles to keep them sharp.
Everyone has someone who they want to work with. I love working with interesting actors who make me want to strive to be better. As a character actress, I love watching other character actors. I love wanting to push myself to not necessarily be like the actor I admire, but emulate the kind of intricate characteristics that make up the people they play. Michael Shannon’s performances are complex and it’s those complexities that make him a fantastic actor. Michael Shannon, if you ever read this, I want to work with you. Seriously. We need to make this happen.
Seriously, are we going to be watching another downfall? Is Lindsay Lohan going to clean up her act, and according to Oprah, “cut the bull—-?” Lindsay, LiLo, girl seriously, if it’s your LAST shot at doing what you love, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to help make things easier? If that means going to AA Meetings and getting sober, and you know that will help you–do it. But again, things are easier said than done. It’s going to be interesting to see Lindsay Lohan attempt to have her life documented while trying to get the sober-happy part of her life back. Honestly, it looks very intriguing. I’ve always thought that Lindsay Lohan had acting talent, and that her personal problems seeped over to her professional life, making her career take several hits along the way. I am also rooting for her to succeed. I want her to clean up her act. I want to see her succeed. I, like Oprah, want her to, “cut the bull—-” and get her life and career back to where it should be. Ten years ago, she was in the mega-hit Mean Girls. Now, with Oprah at her side, she is in a new documentary series on OWN titled Lindsay. Is she doing it for the attention? I’m not sure. Is she doing it thinking it might get her career ignited again? Who knows? Is she doing it to get her life back on track? I hope so. I really do. If anyone can help Lindsay Lohan become fabulous again it’s Oprah.