I have had a broken heart, mostly self-inflicted, but a broken heart nonetheless. On a scorching summer afternoon last July, the candle we borrowed from the Sun to light our flame burnt out abruptly, dramatically and not without devastation. In a haze I walked to the bar to begin a pitiful recovery with a friend with bonfire red hair.
Two drinks in, I was already wobbly and my friends hair was warming me like a burning marshmallow. This was about the time I got a phone call that changed everything. It was a Theatre Director, and I was to take over the part of the lead antagonist in a Canadian play that was coming back to the City due to popular demand. The show would go up in three weeks from that day. Can you commit? Says the Director. Yes! Says I.
It's important to remain calm and professional when speaking with Directors even when on the other end, you may be shuffling life commitments around like a deck of playing cards in the middle of a wrestling match. And/or tipsy, lest we forget my case.
By the following morning I had written my Bio, sent in Headshots, printed the script, highlighted my lines, rescheduled appointments and nursed a hangover. The script was absolutely amazing. I started walking the streets, script in hand, as a way of processing my lines. The hot Sun blazed down on me but I was cold from the chills of heartache. Even so I kept walking as a way of pumping blood to my broken heart, forcing it to mend. The play is called Burn... the Universe was in sync.
Since then I have always walked the streets with my lines, whether it be for an audition or a character that is already my own. Partly because it's the only way I can stay focused through the tedious task of memorization but also because of it's calming effect on the body and the way in which my heart opens up to new feelings and information.
So if you see someone on the street, reading allowed, walking in no particular direction, sometimes pacing, sometimes shivering in the heat, remember that a number of scenarios could be playing out. It could be someone's best day that year, or someone's worst day that year, or both at the same time, as it was for me. She may be homeless, she may have a mental illness and she also may be an Actress. Ya never really know.
To learn more about Burn visit http://www.burntheplay.ca/. Playwright John Muggleton is a wordsmith worthy of praise.