Hey, TheaterMania readers! I'm Alexis. And right now I'm faced with the suddenly overwhelming task of introducing myself. Why, overwhelming? Well, I feel like Paul from A Chorus Line right about now. "Who am I anyway? Am I my resume?" Rhetoric. But then again, what else would we be if not the sum of our experiences?
I'll start by sharing one of my favorite experiences… the one that got me started in theatre. I wrote, directed, and performed a one-woman production of Pocahontas. I was 5. It was on the playground of my Jewish private school and played to a sold-out sand box. It was an immersive and site-specific production; my fellow kindergarteners followed me around our playground and watched as I transformed our slide into a tree and the tire swing into a ship. Visionary, I know. Jokes aside, this was the moment I first had an idea about who I am. When I was 5, I wanted to be everything. Fast-forward 15 years and when people ask me what I want to do with my life my answer is still the same: everything. But it really comes down to one thing… freedom. We become artists to be free.
So I have my hand in a lot of things. I'm an actor, playwright, director, photographer, singer, dancer, blogger, graphic designer, stage manager, intern, musician, espresso enthusiast, and student. I'm currently a junior Musical Theatre major at The Boston Conservatory, so I intend to make this blog insight into conservatory training, being an artist, and keeping your sanity.
Something I'm constantly astounded by is how, along with discipline, I'm being trained to be a child again. Be loud. Be bold. Be free. And that's why Pocahontas is important to me. There's a saying that the creative adult is the inner child who survived. And I think the key to this is retaining the courage to fail. So when I get stuck or scared I always try to think of what 5-year-old Alexis would do. Usually the answer is move on and move forward.
One of the great things small kids have is resilience. As people of the theatre, I'm sure we can all agree that the ability to bounce back is crucial. But probably the greatest thing small kids have is the freedom to be completely immersed in play. There are times in my training I get so caught up in the work and the stress of this business that I forget about the fun. I had a great sophomore acting teacher in high school, LaVonne Canfield, who said, "People don't go to the theatre to see "works," they go to see "plays." " So don't forget to play.
Now some background: I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I started working professionally onstage and as a voice-over artist when I was 10. I graduated from New World School of the Arts, a wonderful and important place I'm sure I'll talk more about in the future. Here in Boston, I co-founded and am the artistic director of Off the Grid Theatre Company, a student-run company that aims to produce new work and re-imagined classics. I spent the summer as an intern at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, another wonderful and important place I'm sure I'll talk about more in the future. And two weeks ago I closed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (I played Guildenstern) at The Boston Conservatory. Up next for me is assistant directing Way of the World here at BoCo, directed by Christopher Webb (who you'll probably hear more about, cause he says some pretty awesome things).
I'm excited to be here blogging on TheaterMania. But I'm definitely not new to the blog world. You can check me out on The Playground (www.lexsplayground.blogspot.com) where I've been rambling about life and the arts for over 4 years now. And to learn more about my work and me you can visit www.alexisscheer.com.
Until next time!