i went to sarah lawrence last night. I was helping my friend Sarah McLellan who has been organizing a series of career workshops for the theater students at SLC. I was her guest last night at a session called “how to work, how to train.” It was mainly geared to actors but their was a range of talents and interests in the room. Sarah, who works at TCG, talked a lot about the practicalities of being in the biz, the details of agents, headshots, auditions, equity, etc. We looked at programs, graduate and less formal training, internships, fellowships etc. Her background has been entirely New York centered and I focused a lot on regional theater and how just because it’s regional doesn’t mean it’s not connected to the work being done in New York. We both really tried to show these kids that if they decide to pursue a career in theater they are joining a community, one they will have to work hard for but one which they don’t need to be overwhelmed by.
It was a really neat event but being back in the PAC (performing arts center for you non-slc alumnus) was frightening. I’m sure you can all understand when I say that the amount of time I spent in that building was beyond what you can imagine. It was more time then I spend in any of the buildings in grad school, it was more time then I spent in the J. It was a massive amount of time in it’s dark and light passages. And it felt, being in there, even though the building has undergone some changes – graduate lounge?! what? lobby with comfy couches? what? – it was still the same structure, the same colors, the same smell. And being back with Sarah felt totally natural, like we had just gone back in time 6 years and were heading to a meeting in Downstage. We even grabbed dinner at the Pub, a veggie burger, just like old times (I didn’t eat meat at SLC) and it tasted the exact same way I remember. I hadn’t remembered the flavor until I walked in the Pub and then it flooded my taste buds. I expected to see through the windows and in the corners people I knew, faces I only now see as little boxes on my facebook page.
Time is a creepy thing.