I've mentioned before that as an actor and a theatre artist I consider myself to be a perpetual student. Really, as a person, I have always been an academic; I didn't need a sorting hat quiz on Pottermore to tell me I'm a Ravenclaw. But particularly in the arts there is always more to learn about the craft, more films to watch and actors to study and theory books to read, even if actual classes may be financially out of reach. The Summer Sling reinvigorated my love of the atmosphere of study, and in the two weeks since I have filled my free time watching fight films, rereading old books on acting and audition techniques, seeking out new plays, and submitting myself for various acting/company membership/fight director opportunities. 

Four days of constant critical thinking about what makes effective fight choreography made me realize how passive I had become with my craft, even while I was auditioning and performing. Not that I didn't put work into the projects of which I was a part, but just that I was not doing everything I could to enrich myself as a theatre maker in the in-between times (and let's face it, there are a lot of long in-between times). Perhaps what I am finally grappling with is the melding of career and craft, recognizing that they are two distinct but inseparable aspects of the life of an artist.

College was four years of honing my craft, gathering as many tools as possible to make myself a better actor/designer/collaborator etc. It was a time to learn as much as I could about what is available to learn, and to be constantly hungry for more knowledge, more skills, more experience. I believe I used my four years at NYU well, taking on perhaps too many projects in my quest for opportunities and challenges.

The first couple years after graduation were, in large part, focused not even on career but simply on financial stability. Goal number one was work enough, earn enough money at whatever day job, to be able to stay in this city to keep making theatre. It has only truly been in the last year or so that I have started to have time to actually focus on my career, creating this website and a backstage profile to really be able to put myself "out there" for auditions and to be able to promote my work as a playwright and fighter.

The shift in focus, after school, to the business of being a theatre artist, resulted in an absence of time spent reading new plays or books about craft. It is thrilling, now, therefore, to be able to return to my true love, the study of artistry and the creation of the artistry itself. Earlier this week marked my eight year anniversary of moving to this city I love to do what I love, and I want so much more but I'm so grateful for where I've gotten.

Here's my Ravenclaw wisdom for you: 

Happiness is having something that satisfies you while also having something for which to strive.
Photo by Theik Smith Photography at the 2016 New York Summer Sling.

Photo by Theik Smith Photography at the 2016 New York Summer Sling.