A week and a half ago, I embarked on a journey through the world of a play that I fell in love with, at first read. Though the conversations leading up to the day rehearsals started were concerning - causing me to question the whole prospect - I still felt a deeply great sense of pride, honor and joy in being able to be a part of such a profoundly written story. Day one, there was instant chemistry with my cast mates - how often does that happen? I have never bonded so much, so fast with a cast I just met for the first time, before. Since then, we have been nearly inseparable. I couldn't be more grateful for that.
Experiences like this show me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. They are assurances that let me know that when I listen to my heart, follow my intuition and walk in Love, all that I desire aligns perfectly with all that I am meant to do. I am living in my Purpose. That and the help of the current mediation journey with Oprah and Deepak Chopra has immensely informed how I navigate my day-to-day and how to maintain a sense of peace and grounding in the work that I do as an Actor, in this particular process. More reasons to be grateful.
As we continue through the rehearsal process, the word "Preparation" keeps resounding within me. More than just going over my lines, or doing my historical research, Preparation embodies the mind, body and spirit. My mental, emotional and ethereal self has to be aligned with this physical body, in order for me to effectively carry out the work that is being asked of me. And more often than not, my prep-work begins the night before, not from the time I wake up. A partner to Preparation: Self-Care. Rest, meditation, exercise, vocal warm-ups, nourishment and openness all connect to each other and inform how I operate in the rehearsal room, and beyond. They are the very reasons I acknowledge that what I do is more than a career; it is a lifestyle. I look forward to what discoveries I will continue to make, over the course of this production.
Donnell E. Smith