I have some news. I've been avoiding posting this news because I didn't want to overshadow Evolution Theatre's production of Arabian Night. However, since that show is going into it's second week and the wonderful reviews are now pouring in (more on that soon!), I figured it might be a good time to make my announcement. I've finally been cast, after a year of nothing, in a professional theatrical production! Are you doing a happy dance for me? I know I did.
The play is called Shining City. It's directed by John P Kelly (who was just recently nominated for a Capital Critic's Circle Award) and will be taking place at the Arts Court Theatre from November 17 to 28.
On its own, this is a pretty big deal for me, but this is only a preface to what I want to talk about here.
You see, I was also asked by the production company to do the publicity work for the show (which reminds me, I should probably update the website...). Though I find the part I will be playing to be incredibly challenging, it is a relatively small role and I would therefore have the time to dedicate to this side venture. Besides, who would be better at promoting a show than someone who has a vested interest in it's success?
A while back, I had decided that I no longer wanted to handle marketing a show I was performing in. I found it to quite often be a headache and a hassle. I knew when reviewers were in the audience and, when ticket sales were low, I took it to mean I was not doing a good job. This in turn was awkward and affected my work as a performer.
Recently, however, I've come to realize that it's my own insecurity and not my ability to do my work that's the problem. I didn't believe in myself as an actor (and, in the case of Fringe, as a writer) enough. If I didn't fully believe that people should see me in a show, why should I be surprised when they don't?
It was also a form of laziness on my part or, better yet, a sense of entitlement; the 'I just want to be an actor' factor. To be perfectly honest, I don't want to 'just be an actor.' How boring is that? I want to be a creator, an innovator, an artist. I believe that a true artist is one who is well-rounded and well-versed in all aspects of his art. And yes, even the business side can be an art.
The best example I can think of involve the myriad of people I met on the Fringe Festival circuit. No one there does just one task. Everyone works their fingers to the absolute bone and then spends their nights chilling out, enjoying the fruits of their labour. It's beautiful. It's amazing. It's inspiring. It's exactly where I want to be.
My name is Nancy Kenny and I'm an artist.