Sunday, February 23, 2014

On the basis of blogging for my acting website, I am definitely a terrible actor.  Logging in after an extremely long absence, I was disheartened to find that I had not made a new post since October 2012.  So, I definitely have a lot of catching up to do.  Funny enough, this new period of posting is occurring during one of the busiest times of my life personally: My wife and I are expecting our first child in July of this year (2014).  Exciting, but also one of major life changes.

Going backward through recent history, I recently had the opportunity to work with my friends at Silk Road Rising again on a staged reading of the new work Rumi: Love, Madness & Ecstasy.  We had a week of workshopping with the playwright, Sherri Winkelmann, who is also an actress and choreographer (and, like my wife Czerina, studied hula), together with my old friend Helen Young as director, followed by the reading, which took place on three nights from February 7-9.

The piece is an interesting one: a memory play based on Sherri's own life experiences married to a Tibetan émigré, who unfortunately, became emotionally and physically abusive over the course of their relationship.  Interwoven into the narrative are the words of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi,whose writings on spirituality prove to be a source of healing and solace for the play's protagonist.

Whenever I have an opportunity to work on something like this, it always strikes me, on one hand, how ignorant I feel about certain aspects of the world.  Between the dramaturgical information provided to the actors and the script itself, I realized that I know very little about the lives of the exile Tibetan community in India, the immigrant Tibetan community in the U.S., and never heard about Rumi before in my entire life.  On the other hand, what a great opportunity to immerse myself in new worlds and new and unfamiliar cultures.

I'm curious to see what sort of life the play has past this reading.  It was great to be part of its development.

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