In the mix of gigs and jobs this past month, I got asked to take on something new: I coached a kid actor in her first professional production. The show is up now, and on reflection, this job had several really cool parts to it.
First, it was a real hybrid of my skill sets - teaching artist, actor, and director. Teaching artist me did some skill building, like theater vocabulary, cheating out, and projection/enunciation. Actor me got to walk the role at a few rehearsals, exploring what my impulses might be in terms of stage movement and intention within those circumstances. Director me got to work one on one with another actor to clarify moments and find keys to unlock the characters for an audience.
Something I hadn't thought of beforehand was that theater etiquette/professionalism was a big component of the process. For someone who's never been in a professional production before, there's so much basic stuff to unpack! Signing in on the board, thanking your stage manager, having your pencil and script ready to go at your call time were all new concepts for this young actor.
Best of all though, was the point during tech week when the kid actor turned to her mom and said, "Do you think when this is over, instead of going back to my tennis class, I could maybe take an acting class instead?"