1) A Brief History of My Artistic Career:
When I was eighteen, I was one of twenty-five people accepted out of 1500 who auditioned for the Musical Theatre department of my university. I exchanged to a school in Los Angeles shortly after to pursue Theatre and Film. Upon moving to California, I joined a theatre company called 3KO Broadway Theatre Company, and over the last five years I have served as an actor, designer, producer, writer, assistant director, and I am currently the Artistic Committee Chair and President of the Company. I take pleasure in creating good work and nurturing the vision of a grassroots theatre company, and that pleasure extends to every facet of production. Now in my 20’s, I have performed in forty plays in the last ten years (five years of which I have lived in Los Angeles). I have pursued theatre with unprecedented passion, as it is my true calling. My greatest devotion is to Stage and Film and I have never lost sight of that devotion. Some film roles that I am especially proud of: Holding Out and Stuntman (which both premiered at the Sacramento Film Festival) and the 1950’s Sci-Fi flick Scrap the Robot Boxer, done in conjunction with the Los Angeles Film School. Some roles that I consider my best work are: Imogen in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, the Witch in Into the Woods, the Young Woman in Bash (for which I was nominated for an LA Weekly Theatre Award), Missy in The Miracle Group (which has since been published and for which I am credited as one of the original cast members), and Sonya in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.
2) My style of work: what makes it innovative?
My style of work is perhaps unusual in the sense that I have not learned it through theatre courses, acting classes or books, but have, instead, achieved it through something that cannot be taught: profound Belief. I believe that every human emotion is an emotion that I, myself, have already experienced; that every human deed—from the atrocious to the miraculous—is one that I have either committed or have the capacity to commit. In my opinion, the world as a whole has forgotten how to believe. I have not. My work is innovative because I don’t apply “techniques” to a character. I simply believe. I believe the words on the page are my words, for indeed they are. I believe the circumstances surrounding my character are my own circumstances. And my total belief fuels an audience’s belief.
An example of the effect of Belief is my role in Bash. I played a young woman who had killed her own son in retaliation of a lover who betrayed her. I was not “me” when I played that part—I believed I was her, had done what she had done. A review by Sarah Dzida of “Stage and Screen” said “Clare Meehan, in the final monologue, brings out a passion and innocence that almost – almost, forgives the murder of her son.” I made a heinous crime into something forgivable and comprehensible. My belief allowed the audience to participate in my absolution. Another example would be my recent performance as Sonya in Uncle Vanya. One night after the show, a Russian woman stopped me in the lobby. She told me that I had “captured the true melancholy of the Russian spirit.” I have never been over an ocean. It was the totality of my belief—my internal “true North”—and it created orphic alchemy.
3) As an independent artist, this is the the personal Mission Statement that guides and motivates my creative endeavors:
My mission as an actor is to tell the truth. To have that truth permeate my thoughts, my body, my fellow actors, the entire stage, the entire screen, the audience. To have it go out the door and permeate the night, cars, passers-by. To have it stick to the air and go where it may. To have it alter perception, create opportunity, inspire confidence, change the world—one play at a time, one film at a time.
4) My artistic ambitions for the future, both for myself and the field of theatre:
My artistic ambitions for my future as an actor involve staying true to my own ideals as a human being. I want to live my life, both on-stage and off-stage, with total conviction, without trickery or deceit, with the knowledge that I have touched lives and challenged the status-quo. I want to shatter facades, push through pain, pull people into a higher understanding. The field of theatre needs to provide this to the community that houses it. My goal for the future of theatre is that it once again achieves relevance among all classes of society. It used to thrive equally among the lower and upper classes, and over time the perception of it has altered, so that now it is viewed as attainable only to the upper classes. This needs to change—perhaps through a more concentrated volunteer effort, especially in lower-income neighborhoods. There is little that I’ve seen that’s more powerful than the passion of someone who comes from nothing and learns that, despite circumstance, they can do what they put their mind to. I am such a person. I would love to someday make a living doing what I love in the area I love most: Theatre and Film. I believe that with time, my talent can only continue growing, and that with opportunity, I could very well be unstoppable.