1) What is your hometown?
2) What is your dream role?
3) When was the last time you contributed to a campaign and how did it make you feel?
We then asked them to craft a little blog post about what brought them to The Seeing Place and why it means so much to them. We hope you enjoy getting to know our ensemble!
"WHY I JOINED AND WHY I STAYED" BY BRISA FREITAS
This is quite the topic to tackle. Frankly, I can talk about all the reasons I love The Seeing Place for hours. Alas, I'll do my best to be concise. Why did I join the company? Well, it goes back to a chilly fall evening just outside São Paulo, a beautiful young woman gave birth to a baby girl named Brisa... Too far back? Okay, I'll fast forward a bit.
To be perfectly honest, when I got the invitation to audition for The Seeing Place, I had recently made the decision to give up acting altogether. You see, I had spent my first couple of years in "show business" working mostly on projects I won't dare mention in fear of you Googling them. But the funny thing is I had actually made money, while most of my other actor friends that were doing "good work" weren't getting paid at all. This was very disheartening to young me. There I was committed to being a professional actor and I was ashamed to show anyone my work, and the few projects that were worth anything (cannot emphasize "few" enough) were unpaid. That's insane... and not uncommon for actors.
|Brisa and Nathan teaching empathy to 3-5 grade students|
Anywho, I actually managed to book a tour with an educational children's company, CLIMB Theatre. That was an incredibly eye opening experience. Not only did I start to enjoy performing again, but the work we were sharing was actually having a real impact on people's lives. I was part of the Teaching Company (Teach Co). Instead of just doing plays, we taught theater-based interactive workshops to students PreK-12. We used theater and improv games to teach kids about bullying prevention, drug prevention, environmental issues, goal setting, and so many more topics. For the first time I was using theater -- using art -- to make a real difference in the world. There is nothing in this world that can compare to that feeling.
When the tour was over I came to the obvious conclusion that I didn't actually like acting, I liked teaching. Because... I don't know. Seemed to make sense at the time? Sure. We'll run with that. So I decided to quit acting.
Luckily, the universe intervened. And by "universe" I mean Erin. She let me know that her theater company was auditioning people and she wanted me to come in. I have a great difficulty saying "no" so I said "yes." In prepping for the audition the more I read about TSP, the more excited I got. What is this magical place that lets actors be actors and let their creativity lead the way? Hold on. They also do socially-relevant theater and hold talk backs to engage the community? This isn't a theater company. This is Narnia and I'm dreaming. Then during my callback we discussed a possibility of starting an education program. At this point, I was like "LET ME IN!!!!!!" but I played it cool till I got the official offer (haha tricked you! I'm actually crazy and now you're stuck with me).
|Brisa as Bianca (with Logan as Cassio)|
in her first play with TSP - OTHELLO
Still at this point I was just really excited to start this education program and was willing to do and say anything for them to let me start. Unaware of the extent of my madness, they were kind enough to cast me in their first show of the season. The dramaturgy and rehearsal process was unlike anything I had ever experienced. We delved so deeply into the work in a way that freed me in a way that I didn't think was possible. It made me fall in love with acting again. Something I was certain would never happen. After the first show, I was hooked. They really weren't getting rid of me anytime soon. Now after every production period is over I feel like I'm just sitting around twirling my thumbs until the next one, just casually asking our directors "So uuuhhh, next show? Happening anytime soon? I can be in it, right? Right?!?!" As you can see, I'm really quite lovely once you get to know me.
On top of that, TSP is such a phenomenal community of artists. It is so wonderful having a group of people I get to see every week who are so passionate, talented, and driven to create meaningful work. TSP is a home for all of us that want to create something bigger than ourselves. Whether that's a connection with the community, an education program, or just a really frakking amazing performance. It's a place we can go to feel safe and free. It's a place we can go to be true artists. Whatever that means to us.
P.S. We're finally creating the education program!!!! AAAAAAH!!!!!
To learn more about Brisa, visit www.brisafreitas.com.
To help create new work with Brisa and The Seeing Place by contributing to our campaign, visit www.TheSeeingPlaceTheater.com