The Banff Centre asked me to write a blog entry for describing my experience as a member of the WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR's Acting Ensemble. Not knowing that I'm totally a professional blogger, I wowed them thoroughly. Enjoy:

It's now more than a week since I travelled to The Banff Centre and I’m still incapable of catching my breath. You could probably blame the 4,800 foot altitude in Banff (or perhaps my extended absence from the treadmill), but after two weeks of breathlessness, only one explanation remains: I think I’m in love…

It was a month ago when I received word that I had been selected to join the 2012 Women in the Director’s Chair Acting Ensemble. Talking to many of my peers in Halifax who, in the past, had participated in various programs at The Banff Centre, it didn’t take me long to get excited about my inclusion in the ensemble.

Since starting the workshop two Sundays ago (on the 15th), there wasn’t much time to stop and smell the proverbial roses; every day was jam-packed with exhilarating, exhausting challenges that kept us on our toes.

Early in week one, we had a day of auditioning (I literally mean a full day: I auditioned six times), after which the ensemble was assigned to work with their directors on the Main Scenes where the majority of our collective efforts were to be placed. I was chosen by directors Celia McBride and Sara McIntyre  to help bring their fantastic scripts to life.

We also worked on Guerilla Scenes. We were given scripts that intentionally had very little to no set-up and back story in an attempt throw us off our game and get our filmmaking-feet wet before launching into the Main Scenes.

The night before shooting the guerillas, WIDC Producer Carol Whiteman gave a speech about protecting the filmmaker’s “freedom to fail” which really stuck with me. The next day, during the Guerilla Shoot I felt inspired to attempt things that I ordinarily wouldn’t try. Small things, but things nonetheless; immeasurable to the naked eye, but [personally] groundbreaking .

After we wrapped up the Main Scenes (which went phenomenally), it seemed as though things were finally slowing down…a bit more bitter than sweet.

A phrase that’s been said again and again around here has been “It’s about the process not the product”, and you truly feel that. It’s something I’ll certainly try to hold onto as I try to acclimate (see what I did there?) back into the soul-crushing “real world” of show-business.

Thank you everyone in Banff. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with all of you.

Glen Matthews is a professional actor, currently based out of Toronto, with roles in HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, THE CORRIDOR, MOBY DICK, ROLLER TOWN and HAVEN. He was recently voted Halifax’s BEST FILM/TV ACTOR by the readers of The Coast Halifax’s Weekly, and nominee for a Robert Merritt Award (Theatre NS) for BEST MALE LEAD PERFORMANCE for his work in 2010′s LOGAN AND I. Watch his demo reel here.

Photo credit: Don Lee.

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