Wednesday, February 11, 2009

LONG AGO.. in a far away time and place....

Long ago I wrote here somewhat consistently. Then, as usual life took over and I managed to have a life that got in the way of all the different arts I pursue. It's hard for me to recall, but from the age of 3 until I was 38, I trained, worked, studied, and struggled to build a career as a performer. I grew up singing in my Dad's country western Band, sang in church and local concerts, then went to college. I studied Dance and Theatre at James Madison University in VA, The school of the Richmond Ballet and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. I had scholarships to the Blossom Festival School of the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Hartt School of Music as an opera singer. I performed in over 100 Musical theatre pieces, Operas, and choral works and concerts. I was a member of the Apprentice Program for Singers of the Santa Fe Opera; regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. I worked for years as a soloist and chorister with the Connecticut, Baltimore and Washington National Opera companies. I produced my own solo Cabaret show that ran for years on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. After years of performing, I finally decided I had done it all and I was ready to move on. Oddly enough it seems my mind made a decision that my heart and soul was not ready to agree to. The first year we were dating, my now husband took me to see a concert by Betty Buckley, one of the grand dames of the American Musical stage - it was her, a four-piece band, and an evening of music sung as only she can sing. My man could not understand why I spent the majority of the evening in tears. ( He had not known about my past as a performer before this evening.) Was I not enjoying the concert? I could only explain it with the fact that in my soul I knew I should be on that stage doing what she was doing. He took me to see a production of Shenandoah at Ford's Theatre with Scott Bacula and an amazing cast. Again, I cried through the production. I could only say that the sets and back drops reminded me so much of my home, and that the musical genre just does that to me. I've seen the incomparable Barbara Cook 4 times at Kennedy Center. I own every recording of hers. In her 80's now, she still sings better than most 20-year-olds, and with a use of language and expression that no one can match. Finally it hit me. As much as I love my painting, and as much as my husband has supported me and encouraged me to pursue art as a career.... I still need to be working in the theatre. I need to balance the private me with the actress who still has a voice and has a need to connect to others. And so I decided at Christmas this year that my gift to myself would be to return to acting classes and to audition and see what was out there for a woman of my years. Surprise!!!! The first audition I went to I got cast in an amazing new play - "Past is the Present Imperfect" by playwright Thomas Minter. I had a dream role of a cantankerous older woman who lives in an alcohol induced fantasy land but must face that the consequences of her early life choices are now having on her son's happiness. It was an intense and wonderful 2.5 week workshop production with sets and costumes at the Warehouse theatre in DC, produced by the Capitol Artistic Partnership. I'm back! At the same time I ended up being cast in 7 (SEVEN) roles for a staged reading of The Laramie Project produced by the Actors Center of Washington DC. Directed by Kevin Kuchar - this was not your average staged reading. it was fully staged and costumed by the actors and staff, and performed after 5 hours of rehearsal to a full house. I have to say it was a very rewarding experience to see my skills as an actress have not deteriorated and if any thing are stronger. And so from now on you will find here both my information on my Artwork, my daily life, and my life as an Actress in DC. Who could ask for anything more! until next time Create beauty and fill the world with love! Wynn