Bonnie Gillespie is an L.A. casting director and author. She also happens to be one of the most positive voices around (online or offline), and her writing always exudes joy, confidence, and love. A feature film she cast, Another Harvest Moon, premiered recently, and is getting buzz for its excellent cast. In this week’s installment of The Actors Voice, Bon’s column at Showfax, she mentions the “wildest dreams wishlist” she asks all her directors for when she first starts working with them – basically, who in their wildest dreams would they want in these roles, “if money is no object and all offers will be taken seriously.” Bon’s suggestion for this New Year is that, yeah, goals are good, but think about what, in your wildest dreams, you want to see happen, this year and beyond, for you and for the world you’re in. As she says, “‘Why have blocks?'” Dream it, do it.
In that spirit, here’s my wildest dreams wishlist for 2010:
1) Get a predicted First degree on my exam results from all my tutors.
2) Go on an awesome promo tour for The FellowsHip: Rise of the Gamers this summer, with my director and the rest of the FellowsHip, as a kick-off for a wide studio release in theatres nation-wide.
3) Write my extended essay on theatre and theology, with a topic entirely of my own choosing, and have it be both exciting and inspiring to myself, my supervisor, and other artists. It will be publishable and reach a wide academic and artistic audience. I’d say what the idea is, but I have several stewing that I like. I think if I had to pick right now, it would be on how to run a Christian theatre company, perhaps looking through the lens of the Rule of St. Benedict or the Dominicans. Hey, it could even jumpstart a movement.
4) Be cast in a lead role in The Hobbit. (Hey, it’s wildest dreams, right?)
5) Be accepted into a Masters-to-Ph.D. program at St Andrews or Oxford in Theology and the Arts, with a supervisor who’s just as passionate about the type of art I want to do as I am.
6) Plant the beginnings of the Unicorn Triumphant Theatre Company by producing The World Over here at Oxford, in a production at the Oxford Playhouse or OFS Studio, in tandem with Fr John at the Chaplaincy and his dreams for a Chaplaincy drama group.
7) Lose 15 more pounds and get a 6-pack.
I think seven dreams parallel my earlier seven goals nicely.
Bon also talks about wildest dreams for the world in which one moves about, like the acting industry. What would I like to see in the world of theatre?
1) A renewal in theatre like that in literature that came out of the world of the Inklings (and Inklings-by-association and -by-influence), from which we not only got brilliant manifestoes on religion (The Everlasting Man), education (The Abolition of Man), and art (Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy-Stories”), but also great art that revived old ideas for new audiences (the pinnacle of which was The Lord of the Rings, but which also included the Chronicles of Narnia and Charles Williams’ Arthurian poetry).
2) Christians taken seriously as artists again.
3) A plethora of new branches of college/university theatre programs that provide professional training equal to that at Juillard, NYU, or Yale, but that are fed by the deepest roots of the Christian tradition.
4) Recognition in the wider artistic culture that the artist has a moral responsibility to his audience, to live with them in community and compassion, and that self-expression alone does not great art make.
5) Less related to the artistic world, but definitely related to the world in which I move: A return to actually doing theology in an academic theology program, instead of doing socio-historical-linguistic criticism and calling it theology. The Synoptic Problem is not theology, it is only a preparation for doing actual theology.
6) Increased church support for Christians who have vocations as artists, even those Christian artists who don’t do explicitly Christian art.
7) World peace. ‘Cause, you know, it’s wildest dreams and all.
What about you? What are your wildest dreams?