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BWW Blog: How to Rehearse Monologues When the Country is on Fire

Get him out of the room where it happens.

BWW Blog: How to Rehearse Monologues When the Country is on Fire

As you know, the country is on fire. "Life goes on" though doesn't it? I wish I could read the recent headlines and go "c'est la vie!" and proceed to rehearse monologues and be a creative artist.

If you're like me, the day went like this: you wake up, get dressed, and begin work as usual. Suddenly, your phone lights up with a message. It's your friend, the one who always keeps you in the loop while you're on a break from social media. The text is something along the lines of "Have you seen the news?" or "Are you watching right now?" or "Omg what is going on?" At that moment, you know it's going to be one of those days. A "we have it totally under control" today, "I'm declaring a national emergency" day, a "this election is a fraud" day.

I cannot fully communicate what I feel after last week, which is a rare problem for me to have. Being an enneagram four AND a Pisces, I am all about feelings and expression. Artists are not required to have a response to everything they feel or see though. While I say this, I have a hard time applying it to my life. I was about to type, "I don't have a response to last week's riots" but then what would this blog be? What I am trying to say is, I don't have the energy or focus to create. This blog does not feel like a form of my creativity or expression. No one can take my creativity away from me, making it one of my most valuable possessions. However, my creativity has evolved into a tool to distract me from the reality of our world. It does not bring me the joy it used to. I don't know what to create when the entire country has been wounded so deeply. As I said before, it's foolish for me to think that my flow of creativity has to be consistent and untouched by the world around me. In fact, the world around me is what shapes and informs my creativity to be something that is not just self serving. My acting professor Kara Lynn Vaeni has taught me more lessons about theatre and life than I can list, but one lesson in the life category sticks out the most in this time of grieving. The week of the election, she did not take attendance for class and allowed those who did come to class choose how to use the time. I won't go into detail about what my class did but this gesture of treating us like people and not acting robots is very in character for her. That day, I realized she wanted us to know that we don't have to "act our way through emotions" or "explore the pain through the scene."

While it is hard to recognize the effects of these violent attacks on our country, I don't have to work my way through the emotion. I cannot write without acknowledging the unwanted elephant in the room where it happens.

In conclusion, no. You don't have to rehearse monologues while the country is on fire, and neither do I.



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