The rest that can be said

The Bench Project was a huge success! Sold out house, +7 additional seats that were added. Look for yourself. Admission was free if you brought a book to donate to The East Bay Children’s Book Project.

Sold out house + 7 additional seats! photo courtesy of Jeffrey Lo, Artistic Director of The 06 Ensemble

The day started out in earnest, a good homemade meal. In this case, I was able to scrounge up the last of the corned beef my parents brought from American Samoa (in my opinion, the best corned beef -originally from New Zealand). It isn’t mushy, but meaty and chunky.

It would be ultimately be the only heavy meal I end up having all day.

I spent some time reviewing my lines. I don’t know if this happens to other actors (I assume yes) but, there’s always point when you’ve recited your lines so much that you start to second guess yourself, hah! Chime in if that’s ever happened to you.

Before arriving for call -I was joined by Holly, a friend and intern at TheatreWorks. The trip to Palo Alto was pleasant enough. Apparently some soccer player named David Beckham was in town playing the Earthquakes (Galaxy lost, heh)

We had a chance to run through the show just before opening the doors to the public. Here’s where I wish I had a clone who could stand around snapping photos because I left wishing I had more! Instead, I’ll share one of the most important things I’ve observed coming out of this project:

Acting and Directing, are two different skill sets. But through the process, I’ve come to value how they help each other –never has it been more clear to me that the two skills inform each other. I see, through directing, alternate methods of communicating the story and ways to pull a performance out of an actor. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to, clearly establish, that the actor has permission to go out there -to put themselves on a limb. Permission, it’s a powerful thing.

As an actor, I’m beginning to really feel how much acting is a muscle. The more it’s worked out -the more you’re going to get out of it. It’s so much more than memorizing lines and knowing where to move. It’s about allowing yourself to be affected. Affected by your scene partner, the words, the lights, the itch on your head…everything.

I received an incredibly generous comment from an audience member last night. I’m not sharing it to boast, but to reaffirm my direction. She comes up to me, a bright smile on her face, “You were my favorite! That was wonderful -you were absolutely natural! I had to remind myself it was a play.” Wow…Thank you! In all fairness, everyone, I felt, did splendid work. Shout out to Jonathan Amores, our director for A SIMPLE LIFE, who was not able to attend. Thanks for your guidance!

Mid-scene in A SIMPLE LIFE / A full house! photo courtesy of Kimberly Wadycki of Dragon Productions Theater Company

I want to take this time to applaud my fellow cast mates, from both the piece I was in and to everyone involved -you all sounded terrific (having eavesdropped from backstage). I hope we get a chance to work on other pieces down the road.

A shout out to A SIMPLE LIFE’s playwright, Lisa Kang, who came out to support and presented us with gifts! I’m looking forward to enjoying these. You rock, Lisa!

It was a pleasure directing these fellas in AGAINST WHICH, Peter Hsieh and Chris Yu Gaorian
It was a treat to act alongside these ladies in A SIMPLE LIFE, Mimu Tsujimura and Akemi Okamura

If anyone was able to snag a photo of our bows at the end -please send away, I’d love to post it. I only wish I could’ve snagged one with everyone! Oh well, next time, right? Right!

Holly making sure to document the imbibe-ables…
Way to celebrate…

The night ended with a brisk walk from the train station back to my place –the light drizzle reminded me of how magical life is. And how most of that magic comes from sharing stories and time with friends and strangers. And weaved into that magic is the process of creating something out of nothing – Art.

If you aren’t already, please follow and support The 06 Ensemble -they’ve got a lot of great things on the horizon. Be sure to check their blog too! http://www.06ensemble.blogspot.com/

Were you there last night? What did you think of the pieces and overall evening? Feel free to leave me a comment below or Tweet me at  and 

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. conradap says:

    Sweet! One of the best writing and acting lessons I’ve ever learned was from a drawing class – when attempting to do a charcoal portrait, my teacher would always tell me to go darker because you can always find the details with your kneaded eraser. So giving “permission” to the actor to take something in another direction allows them to be the artist, let the push it for their discovery and as director, reign them in when needed. The push-pull where everyone works together in everything.

    And your natural style of acting is the inspiration for the style of my writing – the push and pull, if you will.

    Props, dude. Great to see your work on stage! Can’t wait to see MORE!

    1. Conrad! Yes, that’s a fantastic way to look at it -I recall my art teacher imparting that bit of knowledge to me too.

      I’m really happy you were able to make it, and here’s to future works together!

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