Sometimes I'm just like Calvin
Today I am learning a very valuable lesson, making an honest assessment and being okay with the fact that "I can't." Let me back up. Currently I'm enrolled in 9 separate courses, 6 of which have a ton of outside of class work, cast in a major Main Stage musical, hold two jobs, am fight coordinating and starring in a senior Thesis film. Now this is not necessarily new for me, in fact I've taken on more in the past, but this is the most classes I've taken with such a substantial amount of outside of class workload.
With all of these classes, I've made a valuable lesson this morning, which is I can't do everything. Even before the school year has officially kicked off, I'm already ready to have my skull implode, because at least 6 of those things require substantial outside of class work. That on top of my two jobs, and extra-curricular interests have forced my hand. I can either be mediocre in all of them, or I can drop one and successfully do the work for the other five. For the first time in my life I'm swallowing hard and admitting that I can't do it. In the past I've viewed my admitting of this fact as a weakness, but now I'm happy i'm making the choice. Just by dropping one of the courses, I'll have an extra 5 or 6 hours a week to distribute among the rest of the major classes, and managing 5 classes is significantly easier than a full six.
Whew, the week of auditions is over! It all started this time last week, when the senior BFA Performance majors had to audition for our showcase in May. After spending all of break going over materials, I sang a Michael Bublé song, a duet from Edges with John Gardner, a monlogue from Five Days to Friday by John Patrick, and a scene from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Danny Bristoll.
I'm still waiting to hear from the faculty about how they felt those pieces went, however there was no time to breathe, because the next day Main Stage callbacks began. Over the course of the week, whoever auditioned for the shows this semester would trek to Dillingham to find out their callback list for the night, pick up their sides, go to classes, learn their sides, and then later in the evening come back and take part in callbacks until 10 or 11 at night. This happened every night, culminating in the cast lists being posted friday morning. I have been fortunate enough to have been cast in Ithaca College's Main Stage production of Working by Stephen Schwartz as Frank Decker along with a variety of other roles. I'll be getting to sing my favorite song in the show, "Brother Trucker" which is very exciting! Our choreographer, Mary Corsaro, is very excited about this casting because it means she can force me to be an Indianapolis Colts fan, which will take a great deal of acting on my part.
Speaking of football, I am gearing up for this weekend! My housemate John (same John from above) is a die hard Giants fan, and the Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning talk is just going crazy right now. We're throwing a super bowl party at our house which will probably culminate in too much beer, too many wings, a very possible game of Fireball Island, and of course one of us heartbroken. I'm banking on him, since I already got my knock around courtesy of the Giants in the Super Bowl. It's their time. Plus Tom Brady is out for vengeance, and Eli Manning is too gooberish to fight back.
Okay, so today's my last, second day of school. I was lazy last night, and didn't want to blog, so shoot me. But really, it's a very strange feeling that I'm going through right now.
Yesterday I purchased my school books for the last time (in the forseeable future), I went to school, and got my Main Stage callbacks from what is my final audition week at Ithaca College, I received the first of my last syllabi that I will receive from teachers. All of these days keep happening to me. The last _______, or the final _______. It's going to keep happening right up until May 20th, graduation day.
It's at this point that I'm reminded of all my previous first days. I don't remember my first day at Waynflete, back in September of 1992. I wish I remembered those cliche days where my mom sent me off to school with a bag lunch in hand, ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, I've discovered that I have a bad memory of most things prior to 6th grade. I remember faces, names, minor events, snapshots, but there are so many memories that I wish I could get back, but unfortunately I was to young to understand that they mattered.
You know it's amazing. Everyone I know will tell you, oh lovely reader, that I am a perfectionist. I commit myself to more projects than I feasibly should, and I manage to complete them all at the result of my sanity. (Not to mention the sanity of my girlfriend, thanks for putting up with me Pri!) However I have never quite experienced my amazing ability to throw all things aside to fix a small, minute, remarkably unrecognizable detail, like I have when building this website.
It doesn't matter what I'm working on, it will take far too long. I have rewritten my "About" page more times than I care to say, I spent literally 3 hours perfecting my photos page only to discover my friend Danny had done it better, and I learned his amazing ways and promptly threw mine out. I have spent countless hours perfecting every line, every word, every picture, every single place that a picture, a paragraph, and a column didn't match up.
After all that, you'd think I'd learn to listen to words of reason, "Ned, the average person, and even the average above-average person won't notice." You'd think, but I don't. Instead here I am. Sitting at my computer at 1:56AM (though by the time I'm done perfecting this blog post, it'll be 4am, most likely) typing a blog post about nothing important. Except that I wanted to. That's enough, right?
Like that movie with the dead people kid...only not.
Most people know the term "pay it forward" because of that movie with the kid who saw dead people. While a good movie, that's not really the reason I'm posting today.
Everyone in this world has friends, people they like, people they don't like, acquaintances, etc. The other day, I helped someone on my "don't like" list to get a great opportunity theatrically. Before I go farther, it's important to note that this "don't like" goes both ways, we are both aware that we see differently on many things, and are quite happy co-existing in this world. Please don't let this post become about that previous statement. What's important here, is that there was an opportunity that I knew of, he was perfect for the role, and I sent him in that direction. He now has a final callback for a national tour thanks to that opportunity. I have a lot of friends who know us who asked me, "why?" I'm not going to lie, I was struck by the question. You see I believe firmly in paying it forward. Life is about helping other people when you can, and accepting help when you need it. I would hope that you help others enough that when you need help, it's either there, or easily accessible because you can ask for it.
Ignore the guy on the bottom...I was too lazy to photoshop
God asks Aaron Rodgers, “What do you believe?” Rodgers says, “I believe in hard work and in staying true to family and friends.” God can’t help but see the goodness of Rodgers and offers him a seat to His left.
Then God turns to Tim Tebow and says, “What do you believe?” Tebow says, “I believe in Your total goodness, love and generosity and that You have given all to mankind.” God is greatly moved by Tebow’s eloquence, and offers him a seat to His right.
Finally, God turns to Tom Brady: “And you, Tom, what do you believe?”
Tom replies, “I believe you’re in my seat.”
Most people know this about me, because (funny enough, like with Pentatonix and the last post) I tend to announce, loudly, that I'm from Portland, Maine. One of my favorite parts about Maine is the snow. I have been horribly saddened by the lack of snow this winter, because I haven't gotten to perform one of my favorite activities. No it's not snow angels, it's not snowball fights, and it's not even sledding, though inner-tubing makes my top ten activities list.
One of my favorite activities is sitting inside, near a window, while it snows, wearing sweats, and pondering on the deep philosophies of life. Immanuel Kant, move over...it's time for Ned Donovan to take a stab at deep introspective, horribly confusing thoughts.
Here we go. *cracks knuckles*
It's a bit humbling to know that (god willing) in 4 months and 7 days, also known as 128 days, I will be a college graduate. I will have my diploma. I will received all the training courtesy of Ithaca College, and I will be well on my way towards being an actual human being. Where does that leave me, then? Well a lot has to happen in the next 128 days including:
- Auditions for Main Stage, MT Workshop, and Showcase
- Casting (god willing), and the subsequent work that each of those projects entails.
- Various film projects, right now I have one very large one, and the possibility of another equally large one.
- Schoolwork, because I really do take classes. I'm taking three intense classes (on top of my other regular ones), including Directing II, Fiction Writing: Short Story, and a Gen Ed which I can't remember what it is. Which is mildly embarrassing, and only proves that I truly am a theatre major. It has something to do with Educational history, I know that.
- Next Broadway Star - yes, it is indeed still going, and while they are slacking on telling me the dates, I have to be ready for whatever dates they decide to give me.
- Field Studies - Coming at you the week before Spring Break, I'll be making a trip to NYC to meet with industry professionals and begin to get a feel for this crazy profession.
- Showcase - Coming at you on the weekend of May 5th, myself and the 23 other members of the Ithaca College BFA Class of 2012 will be on display in front of many industry professionals looking for agents, casting, and general salivation over our various talents.
- NETC auditions, as well as the numerous other summer stock auditions I'll be attending. There's a big call for Cortland Rep, the Hangar Theatre, Merry-Go-Round, and the new Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival in two weeks. That'll be my first stop.
For anyone who's had the misfortune of talking to me in any context in the last 3 months, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with the a'cappella group, Pentatonix. They are the group that just won season 3 of the NBC a'cappella competition The Sing-Off over my high school brother-in-arms Michael Odokara-Okigbo.
Pentatonix is an amazing group for a few reasons. One, they were one of the smallest groups on the show, and yet they had one of the biggest sounds. What's remarkable about the small group, is that in almost every other group, there were at least two people singing each part. If one ran out of breath? He could stop for a second then come back in. If one got off pitch, he had the other to pick him back up. Not Pentatonix, Pentatonix has only themselves to trust, and their arrangements were complicated, amazingly specific, and each time added a little trick pony (usually from Avi or Kevin, the Bass and Beatboxer respectively) to make their songs fresh, original, and fun. I love Michael, I mean he might have been the most engaging person in any of the groups, and easily the crowd favorite of the show, but the Aires were not going to win. It would be too hard to give an a'cappella recording contract to a bunch of ivy league guys majoring in philosophy. It's not their world, you know? Pentatonix? A bunch of young, entertainment-minded individuals who formed the group specifically for The Sing-Off? Now I'm interested. In the first week, when the group stepped forward and sang "ET" by Katy Perry, I was pretty certain they were going to win. There was something they had no other group had, call it "Backstreet Boys" syndrome, but they were a group that needed a label. The others were just amazing a'cappella groups.
Well this is very exciting. I have finally created a new, self-promotional website to get ready for my forays into the world of professional acting! I tried to port over my old blog into this one, but unfortunately would have lost the amount of comments I've amassed during my time there, because Wordpress and Weebly don't play nicely together. So I have taken the liberty of starting a new wordpress blog (http://neddonovan.wordpress.com) and all of my old posts are there with their original comments intact and safe. Please feel free to head over there if you're looking for anything. However this new blog will be where I continue to update everyone on what is going on in my life. As this final semester takes off, I'm sure I will have much to share, but for now, welcome to my new site. Please feel free to poke around, and thank you for supporting me in path to becoming an actor! I'm so blessed to know each and everyone of you.
Photo by Danny Bristoll
(fac·to·tum | \ fak-ˈtō-təm) noun - a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
I find myself hilarious, and I use this blog to stroke my own ego. Thanks for indulging me.