Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Excuses Excuses

It has come to my attention during the past year (or so) that, while acting is a "real Job", an "office job" feels a lot more like work (at least to me). When I say "office job" I mean high rise- financial core- blue -collar- shark tank- environment where the dress code is semi-formal-dress pants-dresses-high-heeled shoes...or pretty much anything  an actor cannot aford.While I sit at the office trying to do my work and 'accidently' being (constantly) caught on I cannot use my normal acting excuses. For instance:

I am thinking too much.

In an acting workshop/class/rehearsal this would most likely provide you with the opportunity to shake it out, take a moment, retrace your steps and try again to stop thinking and start doing. However, I have a weird feeling that this response is not going to get those supportive/understanding nods around the office, where everyone understands that I am too much 'in my head' (whatever that means) and understands that I am over analysing everything that I am doing and need to take a step back from my 'work' to get reconnected. I just don't think that is going to fly when my title at the office is 'research analyst' and it happens to be a job where I probably should be thinking more about what I am doing.

Another popular one:

I don't really feel connected to this material

This response probably wouldn't enlist a pause in production, only to dig to the root of why I'm not "feeling" the data entry that I am working on and how I can draw from my past to connect more to the stats in front of me.

I don't feel any motivation to do that.

Pretty sure if I used this one I would never get anything done seeing as how the data entry work is endless, and because my work is simply the preliminary work of the far greater workers--I pass my work on to other people-- and at the end of the day, I don't see the end result to what I have been working and therefore lack any motivation to do anything...

The rules of acting and the rules of "office work" just don't seem to what do I do? I act like an office worker (so I can still use my excuses!).

Monday, 15 October 2012

A Reflection: Persuasion

I am ashamed to say, that until recently, I didn't even know Austen wrote this novel-- and other than the fact that it was likely a romance, I had no idea what it was about.

I think this is one of the 'hidden treasures' that this list has given me. Without this challenge I probably would never have picked up this novel, only to find that it is now one of my favorite Austen novels. Maybe I am reading to far into it or simplifying it too much (if both can be done at once), but this novel is a wonderful twisted fairy tale. If you really break this novel down, you have your princess Anne, who is surrounded by two ugly step sisters (her sisters: Mary and Elizabeth) her nasty step parent (father: Sir Walter) her dead mother who can no longer guide her through her life, you have the lost love (Captain Frederick Wentworth)--the love met at the ball when the glass slipper was lost only in hopes to catch the golden carriage that was too-soon changing back into a pumpkin. There is the fairy god mother (Mrs. Russell) who persuades our princess away from her true love. We have a temptress (or an opportunity for a  lesbian lover (Mrs.Clay) because who really knows why her and Elizabeth are such good friends). We have a beast disguised as a potential lover in the guise of (Mr. Elliot) and a crippled friend (Mrs. Smith) who holds the knowledge and reveals the truth behind the beast. Yes, perhaps this is a complicated-simple break down, but I find this remarkably entertaining twisted fairy-tale that is an excellent story and should be more popular.

Up Next: The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A Reflection: The Secret Garden

I think I can say this is a story that many of us have grown up with or know something about. I remember watching this movie when I was a child, but I was shocked that I have never read this book before.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is very lovely, with its subtle lessons that it presses upon the reader and the delightful  naïvete  of the children.

Burnett portrays the characters incredibly well and really gives the novel an over all mood for the reader. I think the unpleasantness of Mary and Collin are what have the delightful effect on the reader. The two children are actually very annoying, yet Burnett keeps their naïvete which in turn allows them to change and develop into children that we actually want to read about.

This is a story to be passed down.

Up Next: Persusaion

Friday, 5 October 2012

A Reflection: War and Peace

“We are asleep until we fall in Love!”

I realize that I have not written in quite a while. There is a reason for this and it is that War and Peace is the longest book in the world* and has taken me forever to finish. BUT I am FINALLY Done!

War and Peace is often, acclaimed as one of the greatest books of all time. I am not going to argue with this-- as I think if you are to analyse books in a particular way and that you have a system of actually rating them-- this could very well be one of the greatest novels of all time. Similarly, if you base your love of books on the overall story, and you happen to like this one very much then I would say that would merit it being one of the greatest books of all time (for you). After reading this novel I will conclude that it was very well done on many fronts. ( I know I am being general here but come on I mean what can I say about Tolstoy that hasn't already been said?...making this wholre reflection redundant...).

In all honesty, I think one negative aspect of the novel is its length. This is probably one of the reasons that most people have not picked it up and actually read it, because the look of it itself is very daunting-- like a massive beast that sits up and takes the position of where three or four books should be on your shelf. I have to say that at first the length didn't daunt me because I had it on my e-reader. (Don't judge me, I know this is not how Tolstoy ever intended for this to be read-- but lets face it, when I can get one of the greats for free, with a decent translation and is a lot lighter carrying it on public transit, it does make the most sense). However, when I started reading it...and reading it...and reading it and then put it down and saw that I had only read 1% I slowly caught on that I was reading a beast.

As for the novel itself-- at first I had an overload of characters (many with the same or similar name) and had to keep looking up how they were all related and what each person's position was. Slowly this all gets straightened out in your mind. Amidst the lives of many individuals dwelling in the high society of Moscow and Petersburg, there is the war itself that Tolstoy expertly narrates. The novel was fast paced, and had a little bit of everything for everyone. What I found was that I would get so excited about certain characters that when it came time for the series of war chapters, I wasn't as "in" to the novel. This was just my experience with it, but when faced with that many characters you can't help but start to pick your favourites.

I found this novel even more interesting when I looked up a brief background of Tolstoy, who was very philosophical in his views and in his life time, and who looked and bargained with the same moral issues that many of the characters (Pierre in particular) negotiated through.

Overall, if you are not into 'The Napoleonic Wars' and the philosophy of how one creates and writes history, then this is probably not the book for you.

*It may not be the longes book, but it's pretty long
Up Next: The Secret Garden