From our Journal...

25 February 2015

Starting Out: My First Thoughts

I knew about BeFrank long before anyone here knew about me, and I’ve dreamt about working with the company ever since I discovered it during a marathon Google session at a New York café table two years ago. Here I was, an eager first-year at New York University, having just moved across the country alone, and I was ready to jet off to London and knock on BeFrank’s door—obviously not the most feasible of options.

So I did what millennials do: I followed BeFrank on Facebook. Luckily, Tommy’s social media prowess and my own obsessive checking kept me in the loop, and when I saw the opportunity to do a term abroad I knew exactly where my sights were set. Even more lucky for me—and by a happy coincidence of timing—BeFrank was starting work on their new show, ‘The Point of No Return,’ just as I was set to arrive. It could not have worked out more perfectly.

I suppose I should say a bit more about myself. In the most American of ways, my course at NYU is ‘individualised,’ meaning that I’m essentially making it up as I go. I’m calling it ‘Improvisational Diplomacy’ and its focus is the intersection of theatre and politics. (Are you starting to see why I’m so excited by BeFrank’s work?) Outside of my studies, most of my time is devoted to (surprise!) theatrical endeavours as well. Over the last two years I’ve acted in, directed, and produced shows both at NYU and outside the university—and I’ve seen my fair share too.

What I love so much about BeFrank, and why I am so excited to be working on ‘The Point of No Return’ with them, is the energy that the company exudes both in the office and onstage. It’s all the same vibe, really, and though calling it ‘curiosity’ doesn’t seem to do justice to what is really happening, I think that’s the best way to describe it. Everyone knows each other on a personal level, and everyone is excited to know me. We’ve been discussing relevance quite a bit, and a lot of the conversation centres on how we can ask the right questions to help ‘The Point of No Return’ hit home and affect audiences on an individual level. This week our UK tour of ‘Do We Do The Right Thing?’ wrapped up in Oxford and Guildford, and I was lucky enough to see it before it goes off to the armed forces in Germany next month. I was struck by not only the quality of the production, but also the richness of characters whose lives we only glimpse in the play. There’s a curiosity to know them too, and to discover how our lives are echoed in theirs.

BeFrank is all about unquenchable curiosity, asking questions, and making connections. Over the next few months, I’ll be blogging about those questions and connections from my perspective, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

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