Yes, it's been quite a while since a wrote on this blog. I have been so swamped I didn't know how to stop and talk about any of it.
July was jam packed for me. It was possibly the best month of my life since moving to New York City.
I wrapped the independent film, "McKinley", last week. It was quite an experience. It was so wonderful to become so invested in something so interesting. This film is about a group of boys that are left behind during a break at a Military Academy. During this time, two of the boys fall in love with each other. The students, who are studying Romeo and Juliet, begin to speak the original shakespeare text within the context of their own story. The characters are wonderful and playing with the text was so exciting. At times it was amazing how well the text would fit. Other times it was incredible how perfectly it could be flipped and approached in a completely new way. The main ideas behind the film are love and brotherhood, not fear or hate. What is so wonderful about the text is how much it constantly reminds us how universal the emotions are. The director of the film, Alan Brown, made this all work. From the beginning, he made the experience so personal and hands on. Our audition process felt more like a rehearsal process than the cold, distant auditions that actors typically go through for film. His attention to the detail of our characters and our relationships, on top of his general love for the project, truly brought us all to another level.
I had the time of my life shooting this film. The chemistry within the cast was insane. We all felt like we had known each other for years and we instantly clicked. There was a mutual excitement about speaking this text and wanting to make it work. I was blown away by how smart all of the actors were and how beautifully honest everyone was in their roles. Working with an actor as talented as Seth Numrich, whom I played opposite, just made everything easier. Recreating deeply important moments like the party and the balcony scene was absurdly exciting and emotional. I was on cloud nine and I'm so excited to see how it will all come together. Honestly, I have no clue what the final product will be like...but everyone involved with the film cares so deeply about it. I know that will make it really special.
On a more personal level, this film brought on such a positive change for me. I was deeply inspired by this project and reminded every day how much I love what I do. It's projects like this one that make everything worth it. I didn't want to go home at night, even after 12 hour days. The film motivated me in really positive ways. I enjoyed completely changing my look and getting in shape for the role. It got me out of my head and focused on something quirky and interesting. There is no time to over-think anything on set. You just have to jump in and get it done. It's such a focused, safe, and intimate environment. I'm mortified to see myself, but loved every second of the process.
I feel renewed. A lot of this energy carried over into my Feinstein's show last week. For everyone that came out...THANK YOU! It was a very special night for me. I won't forget it. It was my most personal and joyful show so far. I really cared about that setlist and was so grateful to be performing in that venue. It was such an honor. I have loved my year full of solo shows and I'm thrilled that they were all successes. This Feinstein's show will be my last concert for a long time (I think I did enough this spring), but I have been invited back to the venue and may return there again in a year or so if they'll still have me. I am so grateful for the overwhelming amount of support from everyone. Truly. I am so lucky to have such amazing fans and friends and I do not take any of that for granted.
As the title of this blog mentions, there has been a great deal of change within me recently and there is more to come. Change is good. It's damn good.
In about a month or so, I'm going to be moving out to the west coast for a bit. I'll only be there a couple months, but considering the fact that I haven't left this city for anything other than business trips in the past 4 years, it's going to be a nice change. It's no secret that I love New York and will always live here, but I do feel like I need to know a little bit more about the west coast and what it has to offer...beyond Nickelodeon boybands. It's going to be nuts putting all of this together (between taking the dogs and renting a car for 8 weeks, I'm already pulling my hair out) but it's going to be a good kind of nuts. I have learned the ins and outs of the theatre world since I moved to New York. It will be nice to be scared shitless again and learn some more about LA. The weather won't be too bad either.
I'm really excited about what's to come this year. I have accepted that I cannot possibly predict where I'll end up next. Makes everything even more interesting.
Here is a video from Feinstein's. Yes, I decided to allow recording in the end.