Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spitfire Grill: Nancy Kolton, On Healing Old Wounds

“You think if a wound goes real deep, that the healing can feel just as bad as what caused it?” -- Percy

Through the course of ones life we all must go through a healing process at some point. From early childhood when we get a boo-boo, which often can magically be healed with a well placed kiss from a loved one. As we grow and learn we sometimes suffer broken bones, broken hearts, even broken spirits, which can’t always be healed with a well placed kiss.
I work for a clinical psychologist, so this theme really struck a chord in me. Day in and day out, I watch wounded souls begin their journey to well being in mind and body through healing and redemption. Some are so injured that they cannot bear to even acknowledge the wound. To do so is far too painful, so they must deny its existence, guarding it from discovery, and wearying of its care.

The healing requires that we let go of our denial and reopen the wound. Which, as Percy says, “can feel just as bad as what caused it.” The brave souls willing to take that journey are not unlike those we encounter in this show. The sorrows and wounds of their lives are deeply felt. Their hearts cry out for the chance to begin again and find healing for their souls.
There is an old hymn that states: “There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the sin-sick soul. There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.” All the characters in this show experience that healing balm through the love and care of, sometimes the most unlikely of people, who eventually are willing to open their hearts to others in need of a new chance to begin again.

May all your wounds find the magic of a well placed kiss from a loved one!

-- Nancy Kolton is a Chicago based actor who is proud to say, unlike her character, that she has never waited tables in her life! Come join us at the Grill!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spitfire Grill: Laura Savage, Inside the Process of the Actor & the Yogi

 “Did I mention that I spent the last five years in Prison? And I only got locked up solitary three times. Imagine that.” -- Percy

People are often curious to know how actors relate to the characters we portray. For me, it’s all about observation: what does it take to imagine a prison sentence? When I received the role of Percy, I was unsure of where to begin. How could I possibly comprehend everything that this woman has gone through? I will admit that I watched a few episodes of “Beyond Scared Straight” which features inmates giving at risk teens an up close and personal prison experience. This was a great start for me- to see the isolation that Percy endured. But incarceration is not the worst of Percy’s harsh past. How was I to delve into her darkest secrets, and more importantly, how was I to bring her experiences to life? The path for me, believe it or not, is through yoga.

“I will positively receive what the universe brings to me.”

This has been my mantra for the past five years. Living day to day with this thought has had an enormous impact on my creative process. It has made me what I call a “hyper-observer”. Yoga allows me to release daily stressors and see the world more openly. The batman tattoo on your husband’s arm, is it on the right side or the left? Your co-worker with that boisterous laugh, does the inflection rise or fall? These are the observations that help actors to create fully realized characters. Whether we know it or not, we are all learning from each other all the time. So next time you order that cup of coffee, take a glance at your waitress. She may just be your next inspiration.

-- Laura Savage is a Chicago based actor and yoga instructor. She is grateful to everyone who inspires her daily and cannot wait to share Percy’s journey with you. The Spitfire Grill runs September 14- October 14 at Boho Theatre’s Heartland Studio.