Friday, November 15, 2013
Fictionless Friday: Falling In Love Again
When I walked into the waiting room, I didn't know it would happen. I found a seat among a sea of hot Asian-American women wearing tight, sexy clothing and fake eyelashes. One woman had chopsticks in her hair. They stared at me in my baggy pants and loose purple sweater. I refused to let them intimidate me, despite the stunning length of their legs and the shininess of their equally long hair.
I barely had time to review my lines when an actress friend walked in and sat beside me. We realized that all those other women were auditioning for a different role than we were. We chatted and laughed - I adore her energy - and then my name was called.
And so it began.
I felt it as soon as I walked inside the audition room. The thrill of the unknown combined with a comforting sense of familiarity. I knew what was coming next. A smile from the handsome director, a chair for sitting, a slate for the camera. "Whenever you're ready."
I fell in love with acting.
Again, of course - I've been doing this work for years - and yet it felt like the first time. Not like my auditions for one or two line roles as doctors and nurses, furthering the plot with my short but vital exposition. Nor like my other auditions that call for an Asian accent, also one or two lines of berating the white lead actors in a laundromat or convenience store for laughs.
This was an audition to play a character. A living and breathing representation of a human being who interacts with and affects another character's emotional journey.
I had stayed up late to prepare the night before, running lines while in bed, the pages illuminated by my phone flashlight while I listened to YouTube videos of Hong Kongers speaking English on BBC News.
But in the room, I internalized my preparation and just played. I got lost in the moment, as eye-rollingly cheesy as it sounds. I felt the energy from my panel of judges and I let it feed me, helping me settle into another person's skin and become captivating.
I've never felt more beautiful or powerful.
my days on the MIT stage, transforming black box theaters into living rooms, gardens, and roof tops. My early roles were molded from thin air with the help of skilled student and faculty directors, rehearsed and pulsed through my body, and crafted for the audience.
The handsome director directed me. Heads nodded, seemingly pleased. I did the scene three times and was finished. I said goodbye as Mr. Handsome rose from his seat to clasp his hands around mine. "Thank you for bringing this to life."
I haven't stopped smiling. I've missed this feeling and I revel in its return. This is the love that inspired me to leave logic and labs behind. This is the love that keeps me eating frozen pizza instead of Pizzeria Mozza. This is the love that has carried me through the last decade and will carry me into the next.
Getting the part or not is irrelevant now. I've already won the prize. Falling in love with acting again and feeling it love me back is a sensation I won't soon forget.