Gretchen Egolf is an American actress, living and working both in the US and UK. For many years, she was based in New York and Los Angeles, preforming on and off Broadway and in television and film. Gretchen also has an active regional theater career around the States. She is now based in both New York and London, where she acts, creates, and teaches. She trained at Juilliard.
For more information, www.gretchenegolf.com
What fuels your desire to act?
Perhaps it is habit. Perhaps there are connections in my brain which have been established for so long, since I started when I was a child, which now drive me to reinforce them and continue that neural pathway. Perhaps that feeling of addiction to a certain endorphin release or feeling of familiarity of the known is my fuel....on a scientific level. But what it FEELS like...is that there is nothing more immediate and crucial, nothing more alive and connecting, nothing more present and necessary than the moment of performance.
In a space with others - others performing and others participating (audience) to create a shared experience of humanity in the air between us and around us: a commonality, a beauty, a connection of a current of humanity stringing us all together, intrinsically, like paper dolls, hand in hand, through time and space. That may come in the form of a Hamlet soliloquy, words piercing into our hearts, channeled through a radiant performance. That may come in the form of a bunch of clowns doing prat falls. That may even come in the form of an actor forgetting her lines. Whatever it is ... the event, the sensation that happens... that connection is the most poignant true thing I know or have ever known.
The best thing about being an artist is...
It is our duty to give ourselves freedom of thought and expression. This is harder than it seems sometimes. And for many people in other professions, it is not their duty to do this, so it goes undone. It is our job as artists to diligently keep up the practice of opening our minds, expanding our understanding and our empathy, cultivating our curiosity about the world and new ways of looking at things. If I were not an artist, I'm sure I would get lazy and let these muscles weaken. So, I feel so fortunate that it is a necessity to stay vigilant and inquisitive in this creative way.
When I am looking for inspiration I...
Honestly, I don't really look for inspiration! I am interested in things, so I'll go see some art or theater or read something. And then sometimes, I'm inspired by it or sometimes not. But, in moments when I'm not feeling inspired, I don't usually go out and seek inspiration, I just feel a bit... blah...for a while, knowing it will pass and I'll feel inspired again. If I feel angry or depressed, then I do seek comfort and solace and understanding with likeminded artist friends, who inspire me every day.
The biggest challenge in working with myself is...
Self-doubt demons. But, I wouldn't be myself without that side of me. So I acknowledge that it's useless to sit around wishing I could be completely confident and proactive the entire time, impervious to doubt and sadness. Recently, I'm trying to accept that side of me and perhaps even be grateful for it!
In 2016, 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 2016.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2016
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.