culture theatre & dance

Minding the Ranch

March 5, 2011

“Mind the ranch” is a personal mantra that was given to me by my voice teacher in New York City. His utterance of those words was for me what Oprah calls an “aha! moment.” I’m sure that most any actor will have heard the words “just be yourself” at least a thousand and five times. Honestly, this phrase never made sense to me. Whenever anyone recited it to me, all I could think was, “Who else would I be? Of course I am myself.” However, when Bruce said, “Be sure to mind the ranch,” all the blurry just-be-yourselfs floating around in the recesses of my mind suddenly converged and snapped into focus. As he further elucidated, “minding the ranch” is nothing more than focusing on yourself and what you’ve got going on, not on anyone or anything else. This is a simple concept that for years I very much over thought (not the first time). I simply had to hear the idea in different words for it to click. Now, I live my life by these words. Not worrying about what anyone else is thinking or looking for makes life simpler and happier.

Tomorrow I have an summer-stock audition. It’s not for a sleep-away-camp summer theatre; I believe those days are behind me. No, this is more of a commuter summer theatre. There are only two professional theatres within a one-hour drive of my house. (I have to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at a one-hour commute.) I am fortunate enough already to work at one of the two theatres. Obviously, I would like to work at both of them. This summer theatre is doing two shows that I really love. Okay, I love one of the shows a little more than the other, and I think that the ensemble roles in that particular show may be even better than the principal roles. However, I am very excited about a possible opportunity to perform in both shows. I am a little nervous about auditioning because it’s been a few months since my last audition. I’m sure it’s just like riding a bike, but it’s always a little nerve-racking to do something that you haven’t done in a while.

My headshots and résumés are attached together neatly with double-sided tape. My music is cut and marked. I’ve hydrated and warmed up today. Of course, I still haven’t chosen my dress or shoes, but maybe I’ll enlist Scarlett’s help for that. If you feel so inclined, please send some good energy and positivity my way tomorrow night. I’ll keep on minding the ranch, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

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