The Maid and the Queen by Nancy Goldstone

I started re-reading this fabulous book during rehearsal last night, since I have a little off-stage time during Act 2 and it is hugely nuanced (and, let’s face it, I have a mind like a steel sieve when it comes to certain details!).  I’m hoping that now with faces to go with the many characters involved in the stories, I’ll be able to keep them straight a little more easily.  I was struck again by the closing line of the Introduction.  The book is about Joan of Arc (of course), but also about another woman who was instrumental in the events of Joan’s life and also the political course of France, Queen Yolande (one of the characters I play in The Lark).  After laying out some of the key points of Yolande’s life and examples of her power & influence, Goldstone ends the Introduction with the following:

   “For those who wonder after reading these pages how it is possible that the evidence of Yolande’s involvement in the story of Joan of Arc has never before been adequately explored, I can only respond that there is no more effective camouflage in history than to have been born a woman.”

I find this statement both infuriating & encouraging (in my usual dichotomous way!) in that there are surely many, many, many more stories out there that have yet to be told, simply because the main character is female.  How frustrating! …But at the same time, what an opportunity!

Thank you Nancy Goldstone for uncovering this story – and a big kudos to everyone else out there taking the time to spend their talents writing, sharing, performing, and expressing these previously lesser-known stories and creating new stories so that we can all see ourselves in the heroes and the villains and every aspect of the human experience.

And, cuz it’s who I am, a quick shout-out to the Babes for their Fighting Words play development program encouraging playwrights in this cause, and to Kat Wolf and WolfPoint Media for creating an entertaining web-series with a ‘new’ kind of hero: The Scarlet Line.

No small roles…

Mr. Gregg’s talking on  the Nerdist podcast about accepting the initial offer of Agent Coulson in Iron Man and how he almost didn’t take the role of “Agent” (initially, the character didn’t even have a name).  Instead he accepted with the idea:
“Take those moments & see what I could do with them.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Co-opetition

It’s a term I first heard in my day job at iGive.com – there are many competitors in our business; sites that have a similar model, but serve a different audience, or serve the same audience, in a slightly different way.  In that sense, competition is a fact.  However, as we have similarities in our business model, we also face similar challenges and by working together to address those challenges, we have more power (think collective bargaining) to fix them.  This is straight up cooperation.  By participating in Coopetition (the convergence of the two strategies), everyone has a greater value to offer their respective audiences.
I believe the term Coopetition is highly applicable to acting as well.  It’s strange how in an audition, you are ‘competing’ against other actors for the same job, but may end up having to ‘cooperate’ with them if you are both cast in the same show, in differing roles.


I’m a firm believe that theatre is a team sport.  Together, everyone does achieve more.  If everyone on stage is in it for themselves, the story is not being served, the production is not being served, and the audience, for damn sure, is not being served.  It’s only in working together that you can pull off the magic of theatre.  A director once shared with me & my cast mates at a first-read (pardon my paraphrase): “Your purpose in a scene is to figure out how you can best ‘be there’ for your scene partner. You are all here to give gifts to each other and you were each cast because I’ve seen you do that in your work.”