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Moments of Magic
Week Six: The Elysium Name
Happy Thursday! Welcome back to Acting Class Daily. Today we’re personalizing the work with a themed knicknack from this week’s class, a formative moment of magic … and, most importantly, Bauer’s chance to say hello.
The Elysium Name (La Crescenta - 2009)
When I took the leap-of-faith of starting my own company, I was filled with wanting to create something meaningful, something that was an answer to the question of why we all do this.
My first company carried the name of the X Repertory Theatre, with the X representing The Unknown. That thing we all search for in our art, our careers, our training, heck … even our lives.
There was a moment just after losing our (very cool) downtown space and starting our next chapter (in an abandoned church building) in the foothills of La Crescenta, where the question of what we wanted to create came up for conversation.
Some folks felt strongly that the company should focus on showcasing our members for the film industry. The reason why people come to these classes and joined these shows, they said, was to open doors of opportunity unique to Hollywood.
Would I consider less ambition in the rehearsal process? Do actors really need to learn ballet for a production? Can we cap it at scene-work so everyone has more time to audition for film roles?
A sizable group wanted the demands of the work to decrease - and in hearing their hearts - something crystalized inside me.
Anytime anything is different, unique … it will always be more right for one person than another.
As an artist I knew what would wake me up and launch me out of bed every day, regardless of the difficulties or challenges ahead. I knew what would make me eager to roar.
Work that mattered. Work that pushed me to be more.
As Artistic Director I suddenly realized that our direction, our artistic goals, our purpose, were no longer Unknowns.
It was time to devote my creative life to finding the ideal.
To unlocking and unleashing the paradise on earth we actors yearn for, are willing to work towards, and so richly deserve.
I wanted to devote our company’s work to finding that paradise - our Elysium - for any actor, any performing artist, willing to do the work of earning it.
The paradise of loving what we do, loving our teammates, loving our moment.
Why try at anything if it isn’t to discover that most meaningful more?
Rather than shape our next steps to be right for the most amount of people possible, I knew embracing our uniqueness - our passionate desire to go all the way in our work, in our craft, and in ourselves - was the fearless way forward.
My sights were set on paradise.
Well that’s an adventure worthy of a lifetime.