Monday, August 22, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
The play is called Red Pepper.
The playwright is Suzanne Willet.
The setting is a political backdrop of United States history.
One of the primary characters is former Florida senator, Claude Pepper.
And the actor playing Claude Pepper is Jared O’Roark.
Wait a freaking second!!! That’s me! What the…I am not an actor, well I’m not an actor first and foremost, at least, I’m a writer. Writing is my love. It’s my heart. I haven’t been on stage with characters that haven’t come out of my head in six years!! What the hell am I thinking? I’m scared out of my ever-loving mind!
“I’m scared,” that’s what I was thinking. When Suzanne called me up and asked me to play the role of Claude Pepper, my initial feeling was fear. I get scared when I don’t know if I can do a good job. And I have to be honest, I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN DO A GOOD JOB!!!!
That’s why I agreed to do the play. I am 32 years old, and I am following the trend of the world…as the years pass, I don’t get any younger like I would like…I get older. Therefore, I decided that if I am to become any better of a human being, and grow like I would like, I am going to have to take on new challenges…
WHEN FEAR LOOKS AT ME IN THE FACE, I DON’T WANT TO RETREAT, I WANT TO CHARGE AHEAD!!! (Okay, except with rollercoasters, I don’t like metal deathtraps.)
I took the job because I love and believe in the power of theater so much. I believe that when it comes to the performing arts, theater is the most powerful and the most personal form of expression. Sure the actors on TV or movies are expressing themselves, but they don’t have to experience the audiences reaction live to the touch. Theater provides the audience the power to instantly show their feeling. Theater provides the actor the power to feel that appreciation (or sometimes, not-so) while they are performing.
I also accepted this job to say to myself that, “Jared, you are not going to get better as a person, if you don’t look fear in the face, and fight it back.”
I deal with teenagers (and adult teenagers) on almost a daily basis, and I always tell them that life is scary, and that you have to go after the things that you want. And you have to take risks, and you have to challenge yourself. I decided to put my foot where my mouth was, and practice what I preach. This is not going to be easy. It is going to be hard. I already see improvisation on the list, and a bit freaking out (as it puts actors in the most vulnerable position.) And it is going to be scary, but you know how the saying goes…
“We have nothing to fear but…” well you get the idea.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I have a very important saying that I have created, that at least in my family is the truth: "Family is the closest thing to unconditional love you are ever going to find in a human being." Now what you consider to be your "family" will change that statement as traditional families aren't as common as they once were.....unless you are a member of the O'Roark/Roark household.
This past weekend I went to a family reunion in Dallas, Texas. Every single member of my immediate and extended family was there (minus one aunt who couldn't make it for whatever reasons.) I had every single cousin on that side of the family (there are ten of us, and only one is a girl.) I had every single one of my dad's brothers and sisters (there are six of them)....are you up to count that is 16 people. WAIT!!!! Four of those brothers and sisters are married (and my brother)....ADD 5....21 people! And who could go to a family renunion if the matriarch and patriarch weren't there. Got to love those grandparents! 23 people! Are we done yet? Oh now, my grandmother has two living brothers and sisters. 25 people! One of those has a child with a husband and two kids. 29 people! And still yet one of those brothers and sisters is married. 30 people! Yep, 30 people all staying at a bed and breakfast (with Hitler as the bed and breakfast owner....but that's a blog on it's own) not a hotel. That means that all of us were in walking distance of each other, and there was almost no time to have alone. Smell trouble? Because there was trouble.
Which brings to another saying an uncle once told me..."After three days, fish and family start to stink."
There was fighting and arguing (notice I separated those two words) and there was bitching about this and that and the other. There was people trying to get people's goat, and people not trying and yet succeeding nonetheless. Yet through it all I noticed something. I am the oldest grandchild in my family (on both sides). I noticed that everybody younger than me was getting along and pretty well behaved. We were having the time of our lives, and smiling and laughing and just all around enjoying the company. It seems all those older than us (well, the middle generation; the older generation were nice, quiet and reserved) were just up for arguing ad nauseum. It was insane! I think I figured out why.
All of my cousins have things we do not tell the older generations as they come from a time when a lot of things are just wrong (no way to look at it, no angle to try to maneuver to). There is no acceptance of things, just plain wrong. However, my cousins and myself and brother all have no real secrets from each other. (Secrets seems like such a strong word, but those little things that your family really doesn't know about you, and they don't want to know.) All of those surface things that we are told are "wrong" are not hidden from the other cousins. We may not speak all the time, but I know that we can all be ourselves around each other. I think that is not what my family is missing, I think that is what most families are missing. Communication.
There is no communication. And the odd thing is is that nobody in the family (or any family for that matter) has true secrets. Everyone knows them, but if someone finds them "wrong" instead of talking about them, they choose to pretend it doesn't exist, allowing the "secrets" to just fester. So here is the dilemma, becasue nobody speaks about them and yet everyone knows about them, here is what happens: 1) Nobody talks about it. Which leads to 2) A family member allowing themselves to create whatever scenario about that person they want to in their mind, whether true or false (as they won't speak about it). Which leads to 3) A sense of anger developing for that family member because you believe your created scenarios to be true. Which leads to 4) The anger going from internal to external. Which leads to 5) Yelling. Which leads to 6) People yelling back. Which leads to 7) Pushing. Which leads to 8) Violence. Which if you are not careful can lead to 9) the breakdown of a family that at one time was so loyal and dependable.
Communication is always the key. I don't know too many people who would disagree with that statement. However, I have seen what happens when no one communicates. I saw this past weekend a difference in generations. I see what happens. My parents' generation come from the world of "if you don't speak about it, than it is better not to think about." Whereas myself and generations below me are clearly part of a "we may not agree with each other but I say we discuss it all and just talk it through."
You know I love my family (and that is not me convincing anyone, but just a statement of fact.) This past weekend proved to me just how important they are to me in my life. They formed me and created me in a lot of ways that nobody can take away. My eyes, my nose, my sense of humor, etc. However, sometimes I look at the world and I see the generation below me just preparing to ruin the world. But then I look at the generation above me and I see how much my generation has shaped and improved the world. Maybe that is what the generation below me is doing, and I have to be prepared to face that.
The fact of the matter is this. Fish and family do start to stink after three days. However, let's face it, just like fish, you need a dose every once in a while. It's good for the heart.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Today marked the day when we were going to talk about the topic. Well, due to some huge event (IRON MAN) that was going on in Tampa Bay today there was only 14 that could brave the traffic to come. I wouldn't change what I learned today.
These are all teenagers who are being very brave and opening up their lives and stories in hopes that in turn it is going to help others. We discussed turning points in lives....and then the waterworks poured forth. I couldn't believe what i was hearing...such truth, told in a way that wasn't about a bunch of teenagers that just wanted to be heard....they wanted share.
And share they did....about their personal ideas about family, a lost father, cancer, dude ranches, the time they realized they can understand others, the day they understood what heartbreak really looks like, or maybe there was no turning point in their life that they could point to, or maybe their mother believes their life was saved by freeing fish in the ocean.
I learned something powerful today, and that is that no matter who you are, your story deserves to be told. I saw that everyone has an amazing story! Not a good story! Not an okay story! They have an amazing story! They aren't all about big gigantic life changing moments, but sometimes they are about how I got picked on cause people thought I carried my books "like a girl" in the crook of my arm. And when I overheard that I officially carried them to my side, more "like a boy would carry them." And that began my conforming moment.
It was beautiful in it's honesty. Talking and sharing....giving and taking...yin and yang...ebb and flow.....this is how beautiful honesty of the world gets shared.