As part of my personal and professional exploration of CREATIVITY, I decided to go to a cold-read audition for the well-known film and play, Steel Magnolias. I read for a couple of the roles but felt an immediate connection to the character of Truvy as the words flowed out of my mouth. Shortly thereafter I was offered the role and thus began my creative journey into becoming Truvy.
I am a Drama teacher in my professional life and I try to make sure that I practice what I preach whenever possible. Going to a cold-read audition was part of walking that talk. I also tell my students that I would never ask them to do anything that I wouldn't be willing to do or haven't tried myself. Memorizing hundreds of lines, scheduling rehearsals into my life, and leaving time for things that pop up was all part of the big picture. This would definitely be the type of thing that students would have to do as well upon being cast in a role (within school or other).
Part of becoming Truvy was trying out different iterations of her persona and experimenting with what this might look like, sound like, and read like on stage. Luckily, we had a patient director that allowed the cast this luxury of exploration time within our rehearsal process. The more iterations and trials of Truvy through the months of rehearsals lead me to become her fully and completely. (The blonde bouffant wig did assist! *see photos below*)
There were little and large things that I discovered during the process of becoming Truvy that gave me insight into how my students might feel. I realized that I would be a better director and teacher as a result of acting in the role of Truvy. For example, simple assumptions in the rehearsal space can really throw you as an actor once you get to the performance space (managing the set, location of props, movement on the stage, projection of voice, etc.) Allowing appropriate time for self to manage the transformation into a character is also an area that I need to be more mindful of in the future as a teacher/director. Becoming Truvy was a great reminder of the type of learning can happen involving creativity and I am thankful of the gleanings I was able to note.