Sunday, December 2, 2012

Incredible Generosity

The street below my apartment.
It has been one heck of a week here in NYC. The show I am working on, Restoration Comedy, has gone into previews, work has been picking up at Actors Equity, The Lark continues to be a great place to internship, and I moved myself to Chinatown from Sunnyside completely by bike and utter determination.  So I am officially living in my new apartment, which is an absolutely amazing place. I live above a Vietnamese Cuisine restaurant and an Asian Grocery Store. There are open fish and fruit markets on my block, some great Chinese food restaurants  and even a bubble tea cafe! Things couldn't get any better than this right? Wrong. One more amazing thing happened this week that has literally sent me over the edge with joy.

This story is a perfect example of how work is found and connections are made.

My Father was visiting family member Uncle Dave (or Buddha as he likes to be called) and brought up the topic of me living in New York. Buddha then told my Dad that I had to meet a photographer friend of his who lives and works in New York City. My Dad emailed me this photographers information, and I decided that I would try and meet him to seek out the advice from a working photographer in New York City, since photography is a career path I am considering. Well I come to find out that the photographer is non other than Andrew Moore, a published and internationally recognized photographer.(www.andrewlmoore.com) I was a little nervous to go meet him, to say the least.  

So I went and met him at his studio, and after he insisted on buying me lunch, I proceeded to have one of the most amazing conversations with Andrew. He asked me where I came from, and where I wanted to go to. I had given him some very general, non-committal, answers of "I maybe want to do photography, or maybe theater,  maybe film, probably direct." Then Andrew gave me a very welcomed wake up call. He told me his story about how he has always wanted to be a photographer, and that he struggled in New York for many years, but continually took steps to be a photographer. He said that one of the dangers of this city is that it can pull you in many directions and sometimes take you down a path away from what you ultimately want to do, because of the large amount of opportunities. This really opened my eyes and made me realize that with my goals, I was being way to general, and because of that I was potentially leaving myself open to going down wrong career paths. This idea rocked-my-world, in a very good way. 

We continued with our conversation and, as I was processing all this, I did confide in him that I really do want to be a director. It has always been what I wanted to be, though I haven't always been taking active steps towards it. Then he decided to help me. Andrew said that he once took a class because he was supposed to direct, and wanted to have a good knowledge of what to do as a director. He hasn't directed in many years, but this class was one of the most memorable experience of his life. He told me that if I wanted to, he could help me get interviewed to be in this class. The teacher of this class is none other that Wynn Handman. (http://www.wynnhandmanstudio.com)

To give you an idea of Wynn Handman, here are a few actors he has trained: Alec Baldwin, James Caan, Kathleen Chalfant, Chris Cooper, Michael Douglas, Sandy Duncan, Mia Farrow, Christopher George, Richard Gere, Joel Grey, Frank Langella, John Leguizamo, Susan Lucci, Burt Reynolds, Tony Roberts, Anna Deveare Smith, Mira Sorvino, Christopher Walken, Denzel Washington and Joanne Woodward.

After serving in World War II, Wynn moved back to New York and studied under the up and coming acting teacher Sanford Meisner, and was his personal assistant for 5 years. He then started teaching his own acting classes, and has been teaching for over 60 years and there are still long lines of actors auditioning to get into this man's class. 

Andrew thought it would be great for me to observe this class as a director because the techniques that Wynn uses translate directly into directorial skills of working with actors. To have the chance to be interviewed for this class was incredible, so I told Andrew that yes, I would love to go in and interview. 

Two days ago I met Wynn's Assistant for a first round interview, and passed. Yesterday I met Wynn himself for a one on one interview to see if I would be a good fit. Today I am glad to tell you all that I am ACCEPTED into Wynn's Class!!!!!

I had an amazing interview with this man. The best part was when he asked me what my favorite plays were. I told him The Merchant of Venice was my favorite play and he quoted, word for word, a monologue from it. We then discussed Pinter's The Caretaker, Beckett's Waiting for Gadot, and how Shakespeare summed up both of these plays in Macbeth's "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow..." speech. It was literally one of the moving 10-minute discussions of my life. If the class is anything like that discussion, it is going to be amazing.

And that's been my week. Take note people, connections are what decide if you make it or break it. So I owe a big thanks to Buddha who helped me meet Andrew, and big thanks to Andrew who, through incredible generosity, bought me lunch and is now the reason I am taking this class with Wynn. And who knows where I'll go from there... Until Next Time!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)

3 comments:

  1. OK, I have more to say...

    I have seen those photos of Detroit before, thanks to the internet, but how exciting to see them from your perspective!

    And;
    My parents honeymooned in Havana, Cuba in June of 1946. I have a photo of my mom on one of the balconies like in one of his photos of Cuba. I never thought much about it, but it must have been a grand honeymoon location!

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  2. JOEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT IS SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO THRILLED FOR YOU!!!!!!!! =D =D =D =D =D

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