|by Doug Yetter|
|Act Like a Professional
I recently had the most fascinating (and frustrating!) conversation about exactly what makes an actor a "theatre professional." The basis of his argument was that "Everybody can act!" Knowing that he was a visual artist, my retort was, "Oh, yeah? Well, everybody can paint!" His less-than-thoughtful response was, "Anybody can slosh some paint on a canvas, but that don't make them a painter." I could feel my blood pressure rising. "So...just because someone can memorize a few lines and not pass out or pee themselves on stage, they're an actor???" This wasn't going to be easy.
To be considered a professional artist (visual or theatre), study of the craft is required and getting paid doesn't have a thing to do with knowledge of craft. Being a member of Actors' Equity (the actors' union) doesn't equate to having talent either, and I have plenty of examples from auditions over the years. Learning lines is equivalent to buying a tube of paintit's just the first step in the process. The American Idol syndrome has fostered the idea that anybody can get on stage and become a star. I can't tell you the number of singers whose career has been cut short or curtailed by improper usage of their voice. Kenny Rogers, Bernadette Peters, and Julie Andrews spring immediately to mind. All three have required surgery or extended vocal rest because of the damage done to their vocal cords. I paid a lot of money to see Bernadette struggle through a show, worrying if she'd make it to the end of Act One. Producers build shows around stars, and then bad training or lack of craft rears its ugly head and the show is forced to close. It's irresponsible on way too many levels.
Good vocal technique is just part of learning to be an actorresonance, articulation, diction, vocal variation...the list goes on and on. Layering a performance by making bold character choices, trying out different acting objectives, changing your subtext, and trying to stay honest about these choices make acting a difficult profession at best. You can't tell me that Meryl Streep's performance in Sophie's Choice doesn't reflect her knowledge of the craft. Who else would have taken the time to learn to speak not only perfect Polish, but German with a Polish accent?
After a little too much ranting, I'm still not sure I changed his mind. Hopefully, gentle readers, you may be a bit more enlightened about the actor's craft. I'm sure I'll feel compelled to blab more about this later.
On to the matters at hand! The summer's just starting and we've got a calendar full of arts-related events to keep you busy. Let's start with some professional artists and galleries!
MOSAIC, a newly formed gallery collective, has their "Second Saturdays" art walk Saturday, June 14, from 69 p.m. featuring:
Aerie Art Gallery (45 1/2 Lake Ave. and a second location at 70 Rehoboth Ave., First St. Station) features impressionist sea and landscapes of the local area created by artist Larry Horowitz. An artists' reception will be held on Sunday, June 15, from 69 p.m. A reception at Third Street will be held on June 29, from 58 p.m., to celebrate the Poole's 45th anniversary.
Amandeline Gallery (403 Rehoboth Ave.) is showcasing the playful, vibrant animal art by Toronto artist Karen Hoepting, along with works featuring pets. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary organization.
Coastal Frameshop and Gallery (4284-B Highway One) "Nature's Palette," original watercolors by award-winning artist, C. Viers Mace, a Dewey Beach resident known for his seascapes and wooded vales.
Detail Gallery (54 Baltimore Ave.) "Animals In Art," an eclectic mix of paintings, collage and photography by artists Cynthia Burke, Cami Johnson, Sarah Ogren, and Kelly Puissegur. 10% of proceeds during the gallery walk will be donated to the Delaware Humane Society.
Gallery 50 (50-A Wilmington Ave.) "New Works" by Brian Petro, a popular DC artist who works in a variety of mediums. This multi-media work ranges in subject matter from iconic architectural structures to everyday produce and household items.
Heidi Lowe Gallery (328 Rehoboth Ave.) "The Conceptual Jewelry Project," consisting of new works by Japanese artist Sakurako Shimizu. The work is an exploration of the fundamental elements of jewelry for maximum aesthetic and conceptual value.
Kennedy Gallery (140 Rehoboth Ave.) is hosting artist Joyce Zeigler, recognized for her wonderful original oils and landscapes, florals and wildlife.
Panache Gallery (129-B Rehoboth Ave.) is featuring beautiful hand-blown glass by Studio Paran. Each piece has a strong design inspired by East Asian ceramics, with bold use of color and innovative form.
Philip Morton Gallery (47 Baltimore Ave) is displaying the fine art works of over fifteen artists in paintings, sculpture, mixed media, photography and glass. Wine samplings by "Cape Wine & Spirits" will round out the festivities.
Thunderbird Gallery (200 Rehoboth Ave.) celebrates its 56th year in downtown Rehoboth Beach. Artists include: Stephen Harlan, John Powell and Don Dahlke.
Ward Ellinger Gallery (39 Baltimore Ave.) is featuring new abstract works by Ward Ellinger. 10% of sales will benefit the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center.
Custom professional framing for many of the local galleries and all individuals is also offered. For more information about MOSAIC or any of the galleries listed above please visit on-line at www.MosaicRehoboth.com
At the Rehoboth Art League (12 Dodds Lane in Henlopen Acres) through July 13: Conversations: Pastel Paintings by Anita Peghini-Raber in the Homestead Gallery. 35th Annual Members' Craft Exhibition in the Corkran and Tubbs Galleries. Still Crazy After All These Years: Mixed Media Paintings by Pam Bounds-Seemans in the Ventures Gallery.
The third Rehoboth Beach plein air competition is June 20-22. You'll have the opportunity to watch artists at work, purchase completed art and enjoy the sites through the eyes of the artists. The event is sponsored by Community Bank and the Bellmoor Inn, and co-sponsored by Rehoboth Beach Main Street, the Village Improvement Association and the Rehoboth Art League.
June 13-15 will be the final performances of Possum Point Players' (441 Old Laurel Highway in Georgetown) presentation of The Little Foxes. Is this PPP's "Little" season? They did Little Shop of Horrors earlier this spring. Maybe The Little Mermaid is in their future! Call 302-856-4560 for tickets.
Dewey Beach Enterprises presents the Clear Space Theatre Company in 100 Years of Broadway, a one-hour musical revue in the Bay Center at Ruddertowne every Wednesday night at 5:30 and 7:30. Tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults and are available at the door.Well, by golly, I think that's all this theatre professional can write for this edition.
Support the arts!
Send your Arts events to dyetter@ClearSpaceProductions.org
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 07 June 13, 2008