Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Come Closer...

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Recommended Reading/Viewing:

Closer by Patrick Marber
Closer (the film)
Marber Plays: 1: After Miss Julie; Closer; Dealer's Choice


Earlier this month, I started rehearsals for one of my very favorite shows: “Closer” by Patrick Marber, the season opener for my theater company The Seeing Place. The show stars company members Erin Cronican (me!), Brandon Walker, Nick Velkov, and guest artist Elyse Fisher, and we are already having an amazing time creating this production!

At this point in the process we’re still doing table work -- talking about the situations that the scenes present and discussing some of the character work we’ll need to do to make the play gritty and real. It’s been really interesting for me. When I brought this show to the company with the hopes of producing it, I chose this role because I thought it would be very different from myself. After all, this character cheats on two different men in very painful ways, so I thought it would be interesting to get into the mind of someone like that. As we’ve started the table work, I’ve realized just how similar that character is to me in more ways than one. It’s amazing to me that we often have the same thoughts, dreams, and needs as people who do “bad” things. The question is - what will it take to make someone act out against what’s expected of them? It’s been fun to talk about what might drive someone to do the things that Anna (my character) does.

Next week, we start with breaking down the scenes and determining objectives and what kind of elements we’ll need to create artistically to make the characters believable. A lot of this will be done through improv, which will allow each actor to go deeper into the scene to find meaning and create a life beyond what is on the page. Within a few weeks, we’ll have the play memorized and will start layering in our accents (we’ll all have British dialects. Mine will be a slightly relaxed version of RP, the men’s will be Estuary, and out Alice will be a slight more refined version of Cockney.)

The show open September 21 and will run for 3 weeks, closing October 9. More details can be found here.

But that’s not where my work ends - I’m also producing this show, which means it is my responsibility (and that of the company members) to bring in funds and inspire audiences to attend. We have three amazing fundraising campaigns planned, all full of fun and merriment for those who choose to partake. Our first campaign is a fundraising party, which is being held July 23, 2011 in Astoria, Queens at 9pm. $5 cover gets you access to free food, a raffle, a tarot cards readers, advance season tickets, and $5 cocktails. Plus, I’ll be there, making a fool of myself, as usual. The event invitation can be found here.

If you cannot be at the fundraiser but would like to support our season, might you be able to make a $5-$10 donation online? Producing theater is extremely expensive - and on July 25 we have to write a $2000 deposit to the theater space. Every little bit helps - you can make your tax deductible donation by clicking here.

I’ll be writing more posts with an insider look at the rehearsal process. I’ll be sure to share some of my successes and struggles, and answer any questions you might have about producing and acting in such an intense show. I am excited about sharing this with all of you!

PS: How do you like the poster image? Designed it myself! :)


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

3 Things That Inspire Me: Vol 1

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I've been following an amazing blog, The Simple Dollar, for a while now - and I wanted to share with you one of my favorite features: Ten Pieces of Inspiration. Each week, writer Trent Hamm talk about 10 things that inspire him to (quote) "greater financial, personal, and professional success." I get so gosh darned inspired by his posts that I thought I would create my own "inspiration posts" in homage to his great work. So, without further ado, here is my first edition of "Things That Inspire Me."





#1 - Taking Photographs

Tequila. Another favorite hobby.
Not many people know, but I am nearly obsessed with photography. Obsessed enough that I refuse to buy a good camera and I practically ignore my point-and-shoot. Why? Because it is the one activity that can pull me fully off track from my commitments - indulging in the craft of photography is just that alluring. Observing the world and trying to capture it one picture at a time may be one of the more inspiring things I do. Sharing these photographs, particularly through groups & contests on Flickr, creates an immense amount of time suckage that my running of two businesses (career coaching and acting) can’t bear. But I do try to sneak in camera time every so often. My newest obsession is my Hipstamatic app on the iPhone. Click here to check out some of my photos...


#2 - Public Displays of Affection

Adorable.
Especially by older folks. (Seeing the scene above inspired me so much I took a photo.) I get inspired to tears when I see love and tenderness in the world. Today I walked past a homeless woman who has a baby kitten in her lap. The kitten was lying on its back, and the woman was absentmindedly stroking its belly. The kitten was in heaven, and I imagine the woman was getting some well deserved intimacy from this little being. If you take the time to look, you’ll find all kinds of inspiring displays of affection around you. (Though, I admit, you might also find people sucking face in a way that inspires you to curse them.)


#3 - Killing a Mosquito Indoors

I swear, the mosquito was THIS big!
I know this seems counterintuitive, considering this is an “inspiration” blog - but hear me out. I am one of those people who is like an ice cream float to mosquitos. They can just suck on me all day long to the exclusion of all others. I’m not kidding -- and the welts they leave are gargantuan. So, you can imagine my horror when I discover that one has entered my abode. One lone mosquito can make for many sleepless nights and several itchy limbs. Even though I have a college degree, run two businesses and have raised a dog for the last 16 years, I still get bested and outsmarted by these little buggers. So, on nights like tonight when I see the mosquito, I stalk the mosquito, and I successfully squish the mosquito -- you’d better believe that I run around doing the happy dance, singing, “Go Erin, it’s your birthday! Go Erin, you’re awesome!” If that’s not inspiration, I don’t know what is...


Do you have a hobby that inspired you? Do you find yourself taken in by what you see in the world? Do you experience an insane amount of glee when you get rid of a pest?


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Power of Music

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Hey folks! Just wanted to share that I wrote a new blog post for The Green Room. This time, I explore the idea of music as a powerful resource for stimulating emotional memories. That may sound like a bunch of actor gobbly-gook, but even non-actors experience some kind of emotional recall through music.

Think about those mix tapes you created for your high school boyfriend or girlfriend, or the song you chose for the first dance at your wedding -- chances are, if you put one of those songs on now, you’ll be transported back to that time and get the same physical and emotional sensations that you had back then. It’s absolutely remarkable what the brain can do. And when we actors can tap into the enormous resources that the body provides, it allows us to be more effective storytellers, making the experience for our audiences that much more intimate.

So, check out my article called, “The Power Of Music” and if you enjoyed it, please leave a comment (either here or at that blog.)


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quieting "The Voice"

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Photo Credit
I think one of the hardest things that we, as actors, have to deal with is the lack of structure and accountability in our lives.

From the age of 5 we’re thrust into a system that tells us that we go to school between 8am-3pm each day, then play outside until it gets dark, then do homework, then go to bed... only to have the same process repeated for the next 13 years. (Or, 17 years, if one goes to college.) We then get thrust into the real world, and for most of us we take on jobs that tell us where to go, when to be there, and what to do while we’re there. As an actor, structure is murky and given that much of our time is spent building our careers alone, accountability is limited to the voices in our heads (which are rarely kind or encouraging.)

Right now, my biggest struggle is making sure that my acting career is at the forefront, when many other things are pulling my attention. It seems like my attention almost wants to be pulled, because the things that pull offer some structure that I’m missing out on. It’s easy for me to say no to things that have nothing to do with my career -- designing websites for yoga studios and advertising reps; being a career coach for clients who are transitioning out of corporate America... these are jobs that I’ve turned down because they didn’t fall within my overall mission, which happens to be:

Mission: To be a working, professional, and well-paid actor doing projects that make a difference in the lives of my colleagues, our audiences, and myself.

What makes my current struggle tricky is that the projects pulling my attention could, in some way, match my mission, but it will take a heck of a lot of work to get there. It seems daunting, and scary, but for some reason the opportunities are too great to let them pass by.

Like: blogging. I love writing. I love gathering my thoughts -- be they groundbreaking or preying on the lowest common denominator (fart jokes?) -- and publishing them for the world to see. (In addition to this blog and my coaching blog, I write for The Green Room and was just brought on to be the NY arm of Playbills vs Paying Bills.) Intellectually, I know that getting my name out there, along with a well fashioned persona, can go a long way in creating a fan base and developing a sense of “self” in the industry. But there’s a little voice inside me that sometimes says, “Imagine if you took all of the energy you spent on writing and put that towards your acting career -- where would you be?” But then I remember all of the wonderful people I’ve met through my social media adventures, and how many of these networking opportunities have turned into jobs (quite a few.)

Like: producing theater. I have a head for business, so when the artistic director of my theater company (of which I am a founding member) asked me to take on the role of Managing Director, I leapt at the chance. Even though I’ve never really wanted to be a producer and I know how much work the job will involve, something about it just felt right. So I said yes. That little voice in the back of my head started saying, “There are so many actors out there who get to audition, show up to rehearsal, and just be actors. Imagine all that you could do if you put all of that energy into doing just one thing?” But then I remember all of the success I’ve had producing other projects, and the joy of creating something from the ground up. In fulfilling this role, I could expand the possibilities for myself and other actors like me, and increase my legitimacy as an artist.

I always tell my students that you can have passion for many things - passion is infinite. What’s not infinite are resources: Time. Money. Energy. I can have all of the passion in the world, but without resources brilliant ideas can die. This is where structure and accountability become vital.

The solution I have come up with is one that non-profits are charged with when they create programming -- they must ask themselves, “How does this relate to my mission?” and then, over time, prove that it does. So, to create STRUCTURE for my pursuits, here’s my commitment with regard to these new projects I’m undertaking:

Mission: To be a working, professional, and well-paid actor doing projects that make a difference in the lives of my colleagues, our audiences, and myself.

Program - Blogging: In order to satisfy my mission, I must use my blogging to build relationships with those who are creating work for actors, or are conduits between actors and the industry. I must seek to build a robust fan base, which will be useful to producers when it comes to finding audiences and investors.

Program - Producing: In order to satisfy my mission, I must create work for myself that promotes the best of what I have to offer as an artist, and provides our audiences and colleagues with unparalleled professionalism and innovation. As a leader, I must contribute to creating an identity for the company, and then hold it to the highest standards of excellence, so that our company name brings prestige to everyone involved.

Above all: I must be willing to work hard, and ask for what I want. This means that if I meet someone who can help me achieve my mission, I should work tirelessly to make an impact with them, offer assistance, and ask for what I need in return.

Earlier, I mentioned ACCOUNTABILITY. For this, I need your help. As I take on these new ventures, I’m going to count on you, my readers, to keep me accountable. Ask me questions about my career. Check in with me about my goals, and challenge me justify my actions. I’ll keep you updated with some of the exciting news that will, undoubtedly, come up. And if you need some support to keep YOU accountable, just let me know. I’m always happy to help.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking "comments" below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who's The Real Reviewer?

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Hey guys! I recently wrote an article as a contributing writer over at The Green Room Blog. This time around, I explore the idea of criticism for our work as actors. What happens when critics are mixed on the show, but audiences love it? And what happens when your theater company is thrilled with the work, but critics don't agree with what is being attempted? What review do you find most helpful- the paid critics, or the audience?

I cover all of this through my personal experiences, most notably in my show Twelfth Night. (Be sure to check out the post They Call The Tweets Maria where I live-tweeted throughout a performance!)

Check out the blog here at The Green Room.

Click here to learn more about our theater company.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ode to My Mom on Mother's Day



Dear Readers,

My mom is the most amazing woman in the entire world. And... I blew it this Mother’s Day because I didn’t get her gift & card in the mail soon enough. So, I spent most of the morning thinking about all of the things I love about her and want to share with her, and then thought -- heck, I’ll write a blog post and let EVERYONE know. So without further ado...



75 Facts About My Mom for Mother’s Day

1. She is an amazing cook. Even her turkey, which we always joke is too dry, is pretty tasty.
2. She is one of the best listeners I know.
3. After many, many years staying home to take care of her children, she rejoined the work force and was quickly out-earning my father.
4. I’ve never seen her natural hair color -- it’s been dyed just about every natural shade there is.
5. She is, unfairly, always tanned, even in the winter months.
See? She is tanned. I am tanned-challenged.
6. She has an incredible laugh.
7. She has a penchant for driving over curbs.
8. She has an obsession for feel-good/competition reality TV, like American Idol, The Biggest Loser and Survivor.
9. She is very affectionate.
10. She loves eggs, bacon and grits.
11. My friends always wanted to come to my house because my mom was so cool.
12. We used to watch game shows together as I was growing up. Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune. Jeopardy.
13. She is incredibly sensitive and caring.
14. She loves watching movies.
15. When I was a kid, she used to deck out the whole house in decorations for major holidays.
16. She’s the shortest one in our family.
17. Notoriously afraid of heights, she faced her fear by going parasailing on vacation.
18. She loves fresh flowers.
19. She has always wanted to own a Yorkie.
20. She used to have a dog named Max, who died of cancer at the age of 14.
21. She kicks people’s butts in just about every game she plays, including Boggle and Trivial Pursuit.
22. Her first “swear” word around me was the word, “sucks.” I was 18 when I heard her say it.
23. She and I used to spend summers sitting on our back porch, drinking iced tea and playing Canasta.
24. I love talking about politics, history and religion with her. I always learn something, and she never judges me.
25. She always does bunny ears in pictures.
Almost caught her with the bunny ears this time!
26. I once told her the joke, “What has four wheels and flies? ... A garbage truck” and it took her a long time before she understood the joke. Now, anytime she says something daffy, I say, “Mom... four wheels & flies...?”
27. She loves to hear me sing -- almost to the exclusion of all else.
28. Going out dancing is one of her favorite activities, but she rarely gets to do it.
29. She loves Celine Dion and Neil Diamond.
30. I somehow got her to sing karaoke with me, for the first time in my life, at Christmas 2010. (We sang Dancing Queen.)
31. I hated karaoke as a child- but she wanted to hear me sing so badly that she’d sign me up without my knowing.
32. She’s my biggest protector.
33. She has a great sense of humor.
34. She has always thought I could accomplish great things.
35. She loves her life.
36. You can usually find her on the porch solving sudoku puzzles.
37. She has an impeccable sense of style.
Look at how pretty she is!
38. She has always wanted to volunteer helping adults read.
39. She loves Mexican food.
40. She’s an amazing (and aggressive!) tennis player.
41. She’s hungry for new experiences.
42. She and I love to go shopping together.
43. She has a heart of gold.
44. Reading is one of her favorite pastimes.
45. She loves getting cards in the mail.
46. She is standing up for herself more and more every day.
47. We like to bake chocolate chip cookies together.
48. Despite what she says, she actually has a very nice singing voice. It does not sound like a frog.
49. She’s had a crazy amount of knee surgeries.
50. She’s gorgeous.
51. She’s endearingly goofy.
Mom (left) and I, with her friend Pam at the Top of the Rock, NYC.
52. She loves getting up early in the morning and sitting outside to watch the world wake up.
53. She never wants to be a burden.
54. She has a strong sense of pride, and will not give in if someone’s hurt her.
55. She always jokes that the next time I ask, “So, what’s been going on?” she’ll make up some crazy story to see if I am paying attention.
56. She has an amazing eye for color & decorating, yet won’t paint her walls anything but white, off white or tan.
57. She was a rogue Girl Scout leader, because she taught girls to be independent, to build things, and to explore, rather than other leaders who confined girls to do “girl” things like sewing, baking and caring for babies.
58. She’s the safest driver I know. Curb jumping aside...
She didn't hit any curbs in this car!
59. She cries when she reads greeting cards or when people say nice things to her.
60. “You Needed Me” by Anne Murray has special meaning to us.
61. She’s very generous with her friends and family.
62. She was an amazing real estate agent.
63. She’s slowly coming out of her shell.
64. I like to watch her dance - it makes me giggle.
Dancing with her friend
65. We like to make silly videos together, though it’s been years since we’ve done it.
66. She emphatically requests that I sing “The Rose” whenever possible.
67. While she’s adventurous with many things, food is not one of them.
68. She loves warm weather and sunshine.
69. She has the thickest fingernails I have ever seen. I am SO envious!
70. She always said, “People will treat you the way you let them treat you.”
71. She’s very sentimental.
72. She cares about my happiness, and sometimes worries about me being alone.
73. When I was around the age of 12 or 13, she said to me very seriously, “One day you’re going to read “Atlas Shrugged” and then we’re going to talk about it.” She was very, very excited when I finally finished the book a few years ago.
74. She loves nothing more than being around the water.
75. She taught me that no matter your politics, faith, or position in life, the most important thing is to be a good person.


I love you, Mom. I am very lucky to have you in my life -- I am starting to learn, more and more, how rare our relationship is. Thank you for being all that you are to me.

Happy Mother’s Day! (PS: Your card is in the mail...)

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

They Call The Tweets Maria

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For a bit of promotion and a bit of fun, during our April 9 evening performance of TWELFTH NIGHT (where I am playing the role of Maria,) I live tweeted throughout the play, writing the secret (and not so secret) thoughts and feelings of the character. I took some photos backstage, and I even got a chance to take one onstage as a part of the action (you’ll see links to these photos within the entries, noted by “PHOTO”)

Below you’ll find all of the tweets, along with the Act/Scene markers, so you know when I was tweeting. If you see a scene marker for a scene I wasn’t in, that’s because I was tweeting backstage, fully in character. (At some scenes, I come on and off stage multiple times, which accounts for the multiple tweets per scene. It was fun!)

I have also interspersed our official production photos, taken by the lovely Tasha Straley of Straley Photos. If you own the play TWELFTH NIGHT, feel free to read along!

PS- if Maria had a Twitter handle, it would probably be @SaucyMaid or @TobysLover.


ACT ONE, SCENE ONE

@ErinCronican
Where they hell is Toby? We were supposed to have a date tonight. He’d better not be out with that ass, Andrew. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
I even curled my hair tonight, and I never do that. Well, as long as Toby comes home ready for action... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
See? I curled my hair! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

Backstage photo

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE

@ErinCronican
What the hell is wrong with Sir Andrew? First he asks to woo me, then he ignores my advances. Maybe he’s gay...? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Nathan Ramos (Sir Andrew)
ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE

@ErinCronican
Gotta get the house ready for the day-Olivia’s still not taking visitors & she’s in a foul mood. I hate work sometimes. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Feste cracks my sh*t up! I wish he could get back in the good graces of my lady. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Phew! That was a close one. One of these days Toby is gonna get thrown out for coming home so drunk. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Toby), David Arthur Bachrach (Feste) and Anna Marie Sell (Olivia.)

@ErinCronican
This young, cute kid just showed up to see Olivia. I hope he’ll pull her out of her funk because she needs to get laid! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Malvolio is pissing me off. He keeps bossing me around, and showing me up in front of Olivia. Grrrrr... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

Erin Cronican, with Brandon Walker (Malvolio)

ACT TWO, SCENE THREE

@ErinCronican
WTF?? Those asses are making so much noise outside. I might have to do a striptease to make them pay attention to me. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
I know you must think I’m a slut, but sex is the only language these boys seem to understand. I’m actually a lady. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Toby, don’t yell at me. You don’t need anymore wine. Your breath stinks of whiskey. You’re still hot, though... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby)
@ErinCronican
Dude- hilarious! Malvolio tried to scold me in front of my friends, and I totally baffled him by pretending I liked it. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT TWO, SCENE FIVE

@ErinCronican
Malvolio has asked for it- he’s such a ponce, and thinks he walks on water. I’m cooking up the BEST practical joke. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Toby is gonna looooovvvveeee me! Maybe he’ll finally propose. It’s been long enough... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby) and Ned Lynch (Fabian)
@ErinCronican
And here it is...... The Letter to end all letters... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Backstage photo

@ErinCronican
OMG!!! I almost got caught! I just set down the letter and he came prancing in. I barely got into the house unnoticed! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican
@ErinCronican
I sure hope it works. Malvolio’s such a Puritan that I’m convinced he’ll do anything I ask of him in the letter. Sucka! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Thanks for all the tweets of support, folks. Glad to know you hate Malvolio as much as I do! :) Work has been tough... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Oh sh*t! Malvolio just came bursting through the door to see if anyone was watching! What’s happening out there? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
I can hear Toby laughing! Man, he’s so sexy, even if he’s 20 years older. If I could marry into this family I’d be set! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Malvolio- your ass is grass! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby)

INTERMISSION

@ErinCronican
Man- only a 10 minute break?!? Olivia’s a slave driver! Can’t a gal powder her nose? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT THREE, SCENE ONE


@ErinCronican
C’mon, Olivia- make up your mind! First you want me with you, then you send me away. Can someone say: neurotic?? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Anna Marie Sell (Olivia)
@ErinCronican
Um, Malvolio is even more cocky today than ever. Is it possible that he’s wearing lady’s underwear? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
He is!!!!! I have to tell Toby!!!! Wait, where’s Toby? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT THREE, SCENE TWO

@ErinCronican
This is Olivia- has anyone seen Maria? Romantic emergency- need my household staff, stat! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT THREE, SCENE FOUR


@ErinCronican
Crap! Olivia just caught me & asked me to bring in Malvolio. I have no idea what’s gonna happen but it’s gonna be good! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Anna Marie Sell (Olivia)
@ErinCronican
Malvolio is so full of himself that he actually posed for this shot! I have limed him! #MariaInTwelfthNight.
9 Apr
Onstage photo!
@ErinCronican
Though... I think I may have gone too far- he’s pretty far off his rocker. I hope I’m not found out... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Fabian, Toby and I just came up with a great idea - we’re gonna make Malvolio think he’s gone mad! Work has been fun today! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby) and Ned Lynch (Fabian)
@ErinCronican
Loving your shout outs and RTs! Sometimes I think I’m a little mean - your kind words let me know Malvolio deserves it. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Man, this has been the longest day ever. Pranking takes a lot out of a girl... Need a cocktail. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
There’s an argument in the garden- looks like there’s a criminal on the loose. Where’s Toby? I hope he’s safe... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Um, Cesario just started a fight with Andrew (who’s a pansy.) What the hell is happening here?!? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Holy crap!! Toby just pulled a gun on Cesario! Oh no... Olivia just stopped it but threw Toby out. I have to fix this. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT FOUR, SCENE ONE

@ErinCronican
Wow- I’ve never seen Toby this depressed. I love him so, so much. He may be a drunk, but he’s valiant and talented. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby), David Arthur Bachrach (Feste) and Brandon Walker (Malvolio) 
@ErinCronican
Um... Toby just asked me to come to his chamber. Did I just see a priest walk by...? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Yum... Toby gives the best foot massages. I think this is the first downtime I’ve had in a week! Now, a bubblebath... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT FOUR, SCENE TWO

@ErinCronican
No! My bubblebath is interrupted- again! Toby has got to find a way to handle his own messes. Oh, wait- is that blood? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
How he heck did Cesario done his to him? Cesario is a pipsqueak! A cute pipsqueak, but pipsqueak no less. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Men will be boys- I sooo love taking care of my Sir Toby. His hurt is being looked to, with me. :) #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby)

ACT FIVE, SCENE ONE

@ErinCronican
Holy crap- I can’t believe I’m saying this, but... Toby just proposed!!! And I said yes! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Remember that priest I mentioned? Well, he hath married us! Check out the ring (he did good!) #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr



END OF PLAY

@ErinCronican
Back to Erin! The cast demolished a couple of bottles of wine in honor of our 2 show day. Thanks for watching!
9 Apr



Hope you enjoyed the tweets - we have 5 more shows left of TWELFTH NIGHT -- tickets can be purchased online via our website: http://www.seeingplacetheater.com . You can follow me on Twitter at @ErinCronican.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To Be or Not To Be...

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Well, this is it, folks. Starting tomorrow, you will see history being made. For I am stepping away from my contemporary wares and into... a professional theatrical run of “Twelfth Night” - a Shakespearean play. I’ll be romping, cajoling, and seducing my way through this comedic text with The Seeing Place Theater, March 30-April 16 in New York City. (more info here.)

By all accounts, this really shouldn’t have happened. I mean, c’mon. I specialize in contemporary storytelling, favoring the intimacy of on-camera work and small, relationship based musicals and plays. So, though I’ve been trained in the classics (and Shakespeare in particular) I have never considered spending time with Shakespeare in my professional career.

When I was approached by the artistic director of The Seeing Place (good friend and fellow actor from San Diego, Brandon Walker) I kind of thought he was joking. One look at my resume, and one would not assume that Shakespeare is something I excel at. We did a fundraiser reading of the show on January 6 (Get it? “Twelfth Night” on the actual Twelfth Night?) and I thought that would be the end of it for me. So, when the cast list was revealed for the full production and I saw my name included- I went into a bit of a cold panic. Apparently, I had gotten great feedback about my work in the reading and they felt confident that I could bring something to the table as the saucy Maria (not at all typecasting, by the way. No, seriously. I’m not being sarcastic.)

I tried to get out of it, frankly. I had a long conversation with Brandon and tried to wheedle my way out. For one thing - right now, I am focusing on building my career in film, TV and musicals. My concern has been that if I take 3 months away from these things to do Shakespeare, I wouldn’t be building my career. Further, if industry people come to the show, they might have an expectation of me as a classical actress, and judge me accordingly. My fear has been that I’ll be compared to those who “do this for real” and I won’t get the kind of response I need to build on the momentum I’ve created. To this, Brandon simply said, “Ok.” So, I pulled out the big guns - my “solution” to this problem that could make everyone happy - The Seeing Place has amazing ensemble women, several of whom specialize in Shakespeare. Wouldn’t it make more sense for one of those gals to be chosen?

When I received a blunt, “No,” as an answer, it became certain that they were trying to torture me. A slow torture, to be sure. But then Brandon said something really amazing (and I am paraphrasing, because this happened more than 3 months ago): “As you know, this is being produced under the showcase code, so if you want to look for other, more remunerative work while working on this show, that’s ok. I don’t prefer that, but I’ll understand. Heck, most of us are looking for more remunerative work. I know you think that this show won’t give audiences a taste of what they can “expect” from you as an actor, but I think that’s wrong. They’ll get a great taste of who you are, because it will be YOU up there, doing great work. Besides that, what better way to gain the industry’s attention than to be WORKING?”

And then he said... “Look, you’re really wonderful. And I want you to come out to play with us.”

And that’s what did it. I joined the production -- because my friend asked me to be a part of his artistic vision. Not because of something I was going to “get” out of it. Not because I would be a star, or agents would sign me, or good reviews would be written. But because Brandon reminded me that we are actors because we want to make art. Good art. Art that provokes, and in that good way that makes people think. Art that exposes - and makes audiences think they are peering in on private moments. Art that makes people debate its value. Art that allows actors to live through situations rather than just talking about them. That’s what actors are seeking. That’s what I’m seeking.

And thats’ what we’re offering, starting tomorrow when we open this show. I sure hope you’ll join me -- if not for the joy of seeing an intimate, rousing, modern version of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, then do it to see me make a fool of myself on stage. Because I do it for all of you. And I do it for myself.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Words To Love By

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I typed the above title with the intention of writing, “Words to Live By” and ended up with a typo that I think speaks volumes. “Words To Love By...” Perfect, considering this blog post is inspired by my father and some words of love that he had written on an index card.

My father died in early 2006, 5 whole years ago, and I’m still surprised the he doesn’t answer the phone when I call my mother. We were very close, and I felt very lucky that he always knew how I felt about him, and I always knew he was my greatest champion. A few years ago, my mother gave me an amazing gift - a scrapbook filled with mementos from my father’s life - pictures of him as a child, copies of his school records, old driver’s licenses and passport photos. It also had a bunch of things from our life together - pictures of him holding me as a baby, cards that I had given him for Christmas, tickets he had saved from shows I had done.

Yep- I am a natural brunette.
And I reaaaaalllly liked the camera when I was little.

As I looked through the scrapbook this year, I saw an index card that I had never really noticed before. There were a bunch of phrases written in his quasi-calligraphic hand, all inspirational nature.

Let me preface this by saying that my father was a very intense man. He had quite a bit of trouble expressing his emotions, and when they did come out they were often big, hearty laughs or tyrannical bursts of anger. We never really knew what would set him off to make him livid, and we spent many years trying to deal with his outbursts without fueling the fire. There was a point, however, when he went to a series of anger management courses, and he began to deals with his feelings in more constructive ways. He adopted anger management phrases that he repeated so often it sometimes made my brother and me laugh. Phrases like, “Erin, that is unacceptable behavior...” - in a straight monotone - were often heard, and usually related to me rooting for someone other than the Redskins, or voting for a Democrat.

All of the work he did to make himself a better man makes the index card I found all the more exciting to read. I have a vague recollection of the card being taped up near his desk - which is supported by the tape marks at the top of the card. The phrases are, at once, a creed to live by, and a guide for proper networking. It’s almost as if it was written jointly by Dale Carnegie and Dr. Phil. Here is, for you, a transcript of what’s written:


Don’t Criticize - Praise
Support person’s need for importance
Seek to Satisfy other’s needs
Become genuinely interested in other people
Smile
Remember the importance of a person’s name
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk of themselves.
Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
Make the other person feel important (Sincerely)
You can’t win an argument. Avoid them.
Show respect to other opinions. Never tell a man he’s wrong.
If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Begin in a friendly way
Get others saying “yes”
Let the other man do the talking
Let it be the other man’s idea.
See the other man’s view.
Let the other man save his face.



My favorite phrase of them all is, “Make the other person feel important (sincerely.)” I pride myself on making sure those around me, however we’re acquainted, understand that I value and respect them.

I'd like to think that I inherited a good amount of positive qualities from my parents. From my mother I've learned the power of introspection and self-awareness. From my father, I think I have inherited a desire to take action. Putting both of those together, in addition to everything else they've give me, have made me a better actor, and better human being in general.

Leave me a comment:

What’s your favorite phrase? How do you express it in your life?
Is there a phrase by which you’d like to start living?

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Noticing Tension

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Photo Credit: Gabriela Camerotti
As an actor, I'm always learning and growing as an artist, but who knew that I would also be learning and growing as a human being? One of the areas of growth I've been addressing is this idea of tension. One of the most frustrating things about tension is that fact that I hardly ever know it is happening until someone tells me. And then the fact of merely noticing it makes me even more tense. Telling ones self to relax is kind of like saying, "Don't envision pink elephants" - it's nearly impossible because your tension is related to so many factors, not the least of which are both physiological and psychological.

So, I have written an article on this topic talking about my struggles as well as an "aha" moment, and the article was published over at The Green Room Blog. To check out the article, click the graphic below. (If you like the blog, please consider leaving a comment!)



Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.


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