It was a long journey of writing....on trains, in two different apartments, a basement office, and a Hawaiin hotel room. There were multiple versions and titles, extensive edits, and long conversations to get the script to its final form.
Upon walking into the first rehearsal, Laura, our director, gives each of the actors a colored folder.
First Woman Red.
Second Woman Yellow.
Third Woman Purple.
If a color could sum you up, which would it be? If a type of animal embodied you, what would you choose? I decided the Second Woman is a colorful fish.
Skip ahead, past multiple individual and group rehearsals, MORE late night conversations, and an unmeasurable amount of stress, excitement, and questioning. Sitting on stage listening to your own words being performed causes an interesting bunch of sensations.
One. You already have all the emotions that come along with the act of performing.
Two. You want to run and hide, because nothing can prepare you for having your personal secrets exposed to an audience (whether they know they are yours or not).
Three. You feel undeniably grateful that these artists have agreed to make your words come to life. That they have the courage to produce, direct, and perform something that is made up of your life. They have chosen to make a part of you THEIR art, and therefore their LIFE as well.
I will always remember walking off stage with my brave cast mates and embracing both of them in the dark behind the stage. I am not sure where A Shared Name will go next, but my duende and artist still possess me, and future creation is inevitable.
(Enjoy these production photos taken by Stephanie Warren.)
At the end of this amazing process I must thank a few very special people for helping along the way.
First and Foremost to Laura Aristovulos. This is her piece as much as mine and NONE of it would have been possible with out her patience, commitment, and vision. Thank you for believing in and inspiring me to create.
To Emily Goodell and Christiana Blain for lending your sensitivity and talents.
To THEATER IN ASYLUM for trusting in our ability to create a piece of art worth producing. Special thanks to Katie Palmer for taking the lead on The DUENDE Project and making sure A Shared Name had the support it needed to come together.
To Peggy and Bill for allowing us to occupy their apartment as a rehearsal space.
And finally, to the countless family members, friends, and co-workers who acted as sounding-boards, cheer leaders, audience members, and sources of unlimited strength. Thank you.
A Shared Name is my individual encounter with the duende that drives and terrifies me-the multiple people that live inside each of us and yet seem completely incompatible. This piece battles with the different roles women play and how often the internal spirit does not match the external perception. It is brought to life by a group of four passionately different woman who embrace what it means to live and lead in this world of misleading flesh and conflicting inner spirits.
(for more information regarding the event and to buy tickets go to http://www.theaterinasylum.com/the-duende-project.html)
Laura makes her exclusive directorial debut with A Shared Name. She cannot imagine a more human or relatable piece to begin this newest endeavor. Primarily a performer, Laura has found new knowledge and inspiration through this process. She would like to thank Samantha for trusting her with her child and Emily and Christiana for lending their talents.
Meet Christiana Blain (First Woman)
While her beauty is stunning don't let it fool you, there is much going on beneath her skin. A ferocious talent, Christiana commits to and embodies any role she undertakes. She can intimidate or welcome with one look. If you are brave enough to take in her presence you will discover a complex woman, both confident and vulnerable.
Christiana Blain is a NY Actress of Theatre, Film, and TV, and Singer in the Exotik Robotz band. She is thrilled to be a part of A Shared Name. She'd like to thank Samantha, Laura, and Emily for being a part of this fantastic work! Thank you everyone for coming out!
Emily is thrilled to be working with such lovely ladies for this emotional original work. She moved to New York this past fall after graduating from American University. She hopes to continue doing such fulfilling work in her craft.
Meet Samantha Keogh (Writer and Second Woman)
The creative powerhouse behind A Shared Name, Samantha takes on many roles in this project. First, but not foremost, she is the author of this powerful, poetic piece of theatre. Simultaneously she has gone above and beyond bringing life and honesty to her performance. She encourages the audience to follow their dreams while exposing her own doubts. She will bring you peace and happiness, and then break your heart.
Samantha is a dedicated artist, who believes in versatility, commitment, honesty, and the spirituality of creating art. She is a singer, actor, dramaturg, and model, and also enjoys writing, painting, and her job at The Lower East Side Tenement Museum. She is currently the Resident Dramaturg for THEATER IN ASYLUM and working on a variety of new works with the company. She would like to thank Laura, Christiana, and Emily for embracing her work and "expanding it's existence." Feel free to contact her with any questions regarding A Shared Name or The DUENDE Project.
How does one write about race, age, gender, experience? How does one point to the difference to show the similarity? Simple?
Two people sitting next to each other on the train. One is tired from a long day at high school full of young drama and learning. The other is equally tired from a boring eight to five reception job that pays the bills. They both bundle agains the cold on the crowded 3 train toward home. They will both read their way to their destination, content to be lost in the book world provided.
One holds a hard cover copy of a Shakespeare play checked out from the library. The other holds a paperback collection of Tennessee Williams plays, borrowed from a friend. Like the playwrights, they have never met and they will never speak, but they WILL ride this train together with the unconscious, mutual understanding to enjoy these theatrical worlds.
They are different ages as known. They are also different genders and shades in the same human color palette. They share their separate worlds until 116th St, where he finally decides to leave the delayed 3, which will sit for another five minutes. She will ride until 145th, eight pages away from finishing The Night of the Iguana.
Rocking thoughts is a serious of short observations made on the New York subway. An interesting cross section and environment that is truly and as much this city.