Jenna Gavigan had a role in the William Inge play “Come Back, Little Sheba” as the “vixen” Marie.
(At the time, Gavigan was on academic leave from Columbia University to pursue acting. She later graduated with a B.A. in Creative Writing.)
A newspaper interview [Shedding the wings, by Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2007] noted that “she wants to major in something ‘basic, like English,’ rather than garnering further training in the arts.”
“I didn’t like being around that competitive energy that comes with that,” she said of one summer spent in an acting class.
“All those musical theater kids that think they’re gonna be the next Kristin Chenoweth.
“They’d sit there and they’d prep their songs endlessly with so much thought. I just knew what my song was about and I came in and sang it, and the teacher went, ‘That’s what you all should be doing, right there.’ And I didn’t outline the song or this and that. You just have to stop thinking sometimes.”
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That perception was also articulated by Jennifer Lehman, a film acting teacher, consultant and scriptwriter, in our interview: “Our thinking mind is different than our feeling mind, and if we start thinking, we shut down creative expression – for actors, anyway.”
Lehman thinks a creative experience “is a very full experience, multidimensional. But if you’re making a mental choice about something, then your experience becomes limited to only that. A creative experience has many layers all at the same time. If you’re trying to juggle a bunch of ideas, it’s going to limit your availability to feeling states.”