I'm in studio classes all day being told that acting is the reality of doing. You cannot act unless you're living in the world. You must make it real for yourself. To be completely honest, I have no idea what that means. I try my hardest to listen to my professors and "live in the world," but when push comes to shove, we're actors on a stage working together to tell a story.

I was invited to go to the IRIS "Blogger's Night," and I decided to bring my friend Annie who is a professed lover of all things Cirque. Among many other things, we share an affinity for weird theater. She's the Beckett scholar, and I'm obsessed with clowning and physical theater. There couldn't be a better pair for a night of high flying and crude humor. As we watched the Cirque artists fly through the air, I suddenly realized what my professors had been talking about. Living in the moment has nothing to do with creating an imaginary world so that you have a distinct relationship with the character's third cousin once removed. Living in the moment means putting yourself on the line and risking everything you have.

After the show, we got the chance to speak with two of the Cirque artists, twin brothers who perform a strap routine and are often only supported by a thin strip of rope around their wrists. When asked if they ever felt unsafe or nervous, they responded that it's less about fear and more about the reality of the situation and that if they're not supported by each other, there's nothing between them and a long fall into a crowd of tourists. The same thing applies to a scene in a play. You can do all the homework you want, but if you're not present for your scene partner, there's nothing between you and falling flat on your face.

photo credit: Matt Beard Photography

Zach's Tips • IRIS will be offering student rush tickets in the near future. Keep an eye out for information. • A lot of the action in this production happens in the air and above the orchestra section. The best seats are towards the back (plus they're cheaper!). • Hollywood and Highland has it's own parking lot and can be entered from Highland Ave. • Hollywood is full of restaurants and day adventures. For some pre or post-show entertainment, check out Amoeba Records, Fabiolus Café, Tender Greens, The Waffle, or just take a walk around Hollywood Blvd. until the show starts. Sometimes it's fun to be a tourist in the city where you live.