My Neurosis On Display

So in addition to being my friend, my best friend’s future wife, and a devious pusher, filmbrat is also at the moment my director. This can be a sticky thing. For one, there forever lives in my mind (and the mind of others, I’m sure), the idea that our friendship had more to do with my getting cast than my ability. It’s a fairly fleeting thought in my mind, but it’s there. No biggie. The other main problem I have discovered however, is that it’s rather difficult to change relationships mid-stream. I’ve worked with other directors who I’ve considered friends, but the directorship came first. This is the other way around. So I have been struggling with just how to make this change occur without it effecting our existing relationship.

Complicating matters is the fact that I have found the role I’m playing to be more layered than a club sandwich, and ten times harder to digest. In simpler terms, I’m fucking lost.

Now ordinarily I’d plop down with my director, admit my confusion, and we’d work towards a solution. But for some reason, I had been fighting this instinct. I hate saying this, because it’s the kind of pretentious actor-speak that normally makes my stomach turn, but the unavoidable truth is that doing it right means making yourself vulnerable, and I’ve been uncomfortable with the idea of being vulnerable in her eyes given the nature of our relationship up until now. Don’t ask me why. That’s a whole other Freudian entry that I’ll do some other time. Just trust me.

So last night I hit a wall. We did a scene, I felt it sucked, she gave me notes, we did it again, and then I KNEW it sucked. What’s worse, she could tell I knew it sucked. So afterwards we did what we should have done a couple of weeks ago when I first felt like I was starting to drown: we talked. Not like two friends, but like a director and an actor. It took a while to get into a meaningful groove, but we got there. Can I just say, WHAT A RELIEF!! I may not necessarily be any closer to finding an answer to the questions that are nagging me about the part, but simply expressing them was huge. And she had useful suggestions. And I didn’t feel like a goof. And life goes on. This morning she turned around and fired me off an email with a link to something which may itself prove useful. In short, she did what any good director would do when faced with an actor who was struggling. And to think… I almost didn’t give her that chance.

The point, as always, is that being neurotic never helped nobody.


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