434,520 Minutes

Alexandra Linn in <em>Putting It Together</em> (Colby College, January 2011). Photo © 2011. Jeff Earickson, Colby College.

Alexandra Linn in Putting It Together (Colby College, January 2011). Photo © 2011. Jeff Earickson, Colby College.

Okay, so it’s not exactly how the song goes. But this is surely my own “Season of Love.”

92,520 minutes short of a year ago I packed my station wagon to the gills and drove 618 miles from the quaint and quiet coastal town of Rockland, Maine to follow my big city dreams in Washington, DC. Cast from an audition in New York for a dinner theatre in Virginia, I landed in DC for the next stop in my journey to actor-dom. By December, I was trying my hand at film and television acting. By February, I was back in the theatre beginning work on a devised play (where the script is the product of a collaborative process of the artists) with Impossible Theater Company (but more on that in a bit). By March, I was cast in my first contemporary role at the Strand Theater Company in Baltimore. And by April, I had made the decision to stay in DC and found myself submitting an essay to theatreWashington about my new-found love for the area’s theatre community.

That essay and subsequent encounters with theatreWashington led to this blog — a candid, ongoing look at the journey of one young actress making her way in her new home. What a wonderfully self-indulgent way to re-examine the myriad triumphs and tribulations that I’ve experienced — and, I guess, that many others in my shoes have — and are — experiencing. I imagine this blog will be filled with the should’ves, could’ves, and would’ves of working my way through the challenges of “the real world” — finding the right job, the right apartment in the right location, gaining and maintaining friendships, and establishing professional relationships that will lead back to those jobs. I do wonder what could possibly be so interesting about my rollercoaster ride through my first year in this new city. I suppose I will have to answer that as I write future posts.

This past (almost) year has been chock full of firsts, and not all theatre-specific: first cattle call, first staged reading, first apartment, first performance in a contemporary role, first performance in a devised show, and first experience with the phenomenon of a DC summer. I lost track in early March of how many auditions I had actually been seen at, let alone attended, and the cups of coffee necessary to get me through the midnights perusing casting notices or submitting job applications. But what I do remember is just how much I continue to learn.

There is certainly something to be said for learning something new every day. Opening night of my DC debut is next week. Many months of brainstorming, improvising, scripting, choreographing, and rehearsing have led to Impossible Theater Company’s devised production of [missed connections], which poses the question: If you had one chance to be the person you always wanted to be, what would you do? The process has been unlike any experience I have had in theatre and has been the perfect introduction to this theatre community that truly cherishes all of its artists. Joining the project in February, the extensive rehearsal period has been a chance to learn a new genre, a chance to grow with a young company, and a chance to be part of a production from the ground up, collaborating on so much more than just the acting. (Much more to come on this experience in a future blog post.)

This journey has sure revealed many skill sets that every young actress must possess: As a businesswoman I must master self-promotion and fashion impeccable cover letters and resumes that would make my alma mater’s Career Services office proud. As an artist I must workshop with fellow actors, train with various companies, exercise my instruments daily, and tirelessly explore all performance opportunities the area has to offer. And as an eager young adult I must try to get it right while remembering that it’s always best to take one day (or 1,440 minutes) at a time.

10 Questions — Alexandra Linn

Alexandra Linn talks about Frozen, Stephen Sondheim, Fred Astaire, and much more.