Daureen Collodel, who performed in "Post-Its," presented during Ashland Contemporary Theatre's "Once in a Blue Moon" series at Paschal Winery, has acted in film and television for more than a decade. You may have seen her in one of many national television commercials. She earned a degree in Theater Arts/Humanities from Scripts College and is fluent in Spanish. We met for lunch at the Morning Glory Café in Ashland.
EH: Is there a special bond between actors?
DC: As actors we're pretty vulnerable people. In any production, there's a certain intimacy that has to happen very swiftly. We can get close very quickly, and then it's kind of sad when it's over.
EH: What makes a good director?
DC: A good director is someone who provides guidance and lets the actors bring something to the table. It's a mutually creative process. If it's not that collaborative effort, a lot of times, it's about the director's ego, and then it becomes a whole different experience. Sometimes you think, "Why did this person hire me, if they're trying to micromanage my every move?"
As an actor you want to be directed. Albeit a collaboration, it's also good to know that directors know what they want, and that they're going to know how to get what they want out of actors to the best of their ability. It's important to know that a director has confidence and a vision, and it's not just, "Oh, let's see where we go with this," because most actors want help. We want to worry about our own little world. We want to rely on someone providing the bigger picture, that it's all going to make sense, and that we're going to be OK in that framework. It's trust.
Because most actors are pretty insecure and uptight, we want somebody who brings a certain amount of levity, a director who can help you relax and make you feel less self-conscious, a warm human being first, a director next.
I've always had great respect for directors. It's such a wide variety of talents that directors have to have to make it all work, to take care of things. As an actor, you come in and do your thing and go home. None of it is easy.
EH: What makes a great actor?
DC: A great actor is someone who has the ability to tap into an authentic self, but still have an external awareness of being an actor; in touch with the inner person, but very aware and in tune with the exterior. There are some actors that are so raw and so inner-focused, that something is lost, and then there are others who are so externally focused, it's like, "Hello, there must be a person in there." It's someone who has that ability to tap into the inner but be very complete in the outer as well. And that is very hard to do. That takes real self-confidence, and maybe a little of the attitude, "Some people will like it and some people won't." Most actors are so insecure. We really want people to like us.
EH: Besides acting, you had a successful business career.
DC: I had a good career in corporate sales. I had some pretty remarkable jobs with a lot of responsibility. It wasn't because I was some kind of business guru. I just knew how to work with people, and develop a team spirit, and get people to do things because they wanted to. My skills translated. Anything I have done since I was an actress has been fairly easy. When you sell yourself, that is the hardest thing to do.
Evalyn Hansen is a writer and director living in Ashland. She trained as an actor at the American Conservatory Theatre and is a founding member of San Francisco's Magic Theatre. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.