Week 21 | Artist 21 of Created to Create 2017 | Emma Wade, Actor/Puppeteer
Emma Wade is a Brooklyn based actor and puppeteer. Currently helping to manage the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio in NYC. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Italian Language and Literature from Smith College. She specializes in physical theater, puppetry, movement, and ethnographic story telling.
Where were you born? Where do you live/work?
I was born in Randolph, Vermont. I now currently based in Brooklyn.
What fuels your desire to act/create?
I am fueled by curiosity and discovery. Big ideas like universal Love and Beauty.
Belief in the catharsis of theater to understand and ease the human condition.
Tell us about your connection to Michael Chekhov’s work.
In school I was drawn to physical theatre, I preformed in department shows, though I majored in Anthropology. In the last months before graduating, a friend invited me to an outdoor puppet show in a small community in Columbia County NY. The show impressed me and I found myself shortly after applying to study and work on a production with the director Nathaniel Williams at Free Columbia Puppetry. Here, I spent a winter and spring learning to build large papier-mâché puppets and developed a gestural language for puppets. In the same area, I came across a public talk by Chekhov actors and teachers Fern Sloan and Ted Pugh about the actor’s creative process. I was deeply moved by their presentation. I felt as though they were talking precisely to a gestural language for the actor’s body that was sympathetic to what I was discovering in puppetry. At the end, they more specifically mentioned Michael Chekhov and indicated a table in the back with various books about him. I asked Fern if she would meet with me. She graciously did, listened and gave me advice and encouragement to go perhaps to study in NYC. She led me to Lenard Petit at The Michael Chekhov Acting Studio NYC and a few months later I applied to his September program and made the journey to urban living. The past three years I have devoted much of my energy to studying the Michael Chekhov Technique.
How do you work with overcoming fear/doubt?
I have no fail proof strategies. Sure, I find myself outside on walks, resting and finding time for friends. Though I know fear and doubt usually creep in when I am not so clear on what it is I am setting out to do or am between projects. Am I undisciplined or lazy? When I judge myself with these questions, I then feel fear and doubt set in. Saying then "I know better" doesn’t help much either. Finding activity that engages both my body and mind help and the knowledge that this too will pass.
What is your greatest obstacle in working with self?
What are you inspired by NOW?
At the moment I am very inspired by my teachers in the Michael Chekhov Community.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I still feel like I am working with my younger self. I wish my older self could send me some advice.
Who has had a powerful influence on your work?
My parents, friends, and teachers that have recognized something in me and pushed me toward new parts of myself.
What is your next project or a recent project?
I just returned from a month and a half touring Faust 3, a show by the Bread & Puppet Theater of Glover, Vermont. It was a great honor to travel with this theater that now holds a 54 year legacy as a non-for-profit theater. As a child, my family visited Glover to see their shows and the work has had a lasting influence on my artistic interests.
What advice do you have for auditioning?
I am still trying to figure it out. I’ll get back to you.
What is your advice to self in pursuing the business side of work? Do you have advice for making/producing your own work?
Get on it lady. You learn by doing. Make and meet manageable daily goals. Go forth.
10 things that make you happy are...
Warn Work clothes
People watching on the Subway
Learning to play old-time Banjo
The Italian Language
Going to the theater
What are your creative hopes and dreams?
Devise a puppet show based on interviews with individuals facing the end of life. Working title "Good Grief."
In 2017, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2017.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2017
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.