I don't often add photos to this blog. And in fact I believe the last time I ever bothered with doing so, it was this exact same photo. I will check on that to be sure.
The point however, is that I was recently working on something that required me to select a photo that "sums up who or what you are." I thought about it for a short while, and had a few other candidates, but it didn't take me long to select this one.
Not that I feel any photo can really "sum up" a person. But this picture, with many layers to it, comes pretty close.
It was taken in the very cramped backstage area in a building called Reynolds Hall on the campus of Shepherd University. The Full Circle Theater Company did not yet have its own space so it was renting this venue for its production of The Lion in Winter. So the theatre aspect of my personality is obvious.
Yet more subtle is the nature of the venue, which I mentioned was a bit cramped backstage. And an astute eye will see that the backstage itself is really more of a makeshift set up. The venue is not specifically designed for full fledged theatre productions, though with the aid of the temporary backdrops and portable walls, (seen to my right) a primitive set is possible. That production, (one of my favorites ever) was very much about low budgets, make shift sets pieces, and elbow grease. It had its problems, and I wouldn't want to use this venue all the time, but it really showed off the resourcefulness and ingenuity of dedicated theatre types. (You can read about my experiences in this play, in this venue right here on the blog, starting about here.)
I like that kind of "rag-tag" nature to art. Indeed I will be at last building my own small theatre company based on such principles sometime next year, hopefully. And this photo also captures that element of my theatre persona. Minimalism.
The photo is in black and white, which sums up nicely my approach to some things in life, whether wise or not. I do tend to be black and white about some things.
It also captures my sometime aloofness. You don't even see my face in the shot. You see my back as I walk away from you. Hands in pockets, probably deep in thought about something. I am not yet in costume, so I am not yet in my performance preparation mode. Yet I am certainly distant, and unto myself here. Which again, though not 100% accurate for all of my time, is accurate enough to much of my time to make a good representation of my persona. Not that anything and everyone is too good for me, and hence being ignored. I knew the picture was being taken. Just that I am often a step to the side.
This could get far beyond the scope of theatre and this blog, so I won't elaborate much further on the nature of what this photograph reveals, but I will say that that sometime aloofness is in fact a part of my performance. An aspect of my art. My introversion at work in a venue of creation such as a cramped theatre.
You don't get the whole "Ty as actor/artist" story with this photograph. But you get the first few chapters at least.