Michelle Krusiec

"What makes Alice Wu's debut so pleasurable is its easy rhythms, its sly juxtapositions, and its relaxed but funny performances. A generous straight man, Krusiec gives the film emotional heft...."---Slate

Made In Taiwan Update
Thursday, August 05, 2010

I've been diligently working on MADE IN TAIWAN. People who've known me for a long time often ask me why have I worked on this show for so long. Well, I don't really have an answer for you. Mainly, I'm invited to do the show or its commissioned and I use it as a time to workshop the piece. Well, I'm finally at a place with the material where I feel like I can "show" the material and I'm no longer developing it. That's right. This means, it's a (fairly!) completed show in terms of the writing and in terms of the performance, well, that will always be an organic process like any other. It would be akin to asking me if I could play "WIL" in Saving Face the same way right now. The answer would be no. I don't think I'd play her the same way. She'd be different and in that special way, that film performance specifically captures my take on "WIL" during that period of my life as an actor. My approach to how I developed Made in Taiwan reminds me of making wine. You start out with smashing the grapes, I love Lucy style of course. And then...it just brews and at some point...you've got wine.

Made in Taiwan this time around will be a much more personal performance. It has been a labor of love to put it mildly. More like a labor of blood sweat and tears. I suppose when I wrote a story about my family, my first instinct was to make them as comedic as possible because I wanted the show to be entertaining. However years later as I continue to investigate the purpose of writing this piece and the re-learning of how do I tell this story as a performer, it continues to shed light on my abilities as an actor and now as a story-teller. I used to perform this piece with the ambition of playing all the characters as true as possible but this interpretation of the show will hopefully uncover a lot more details on the personal nature of sharing one's family. I think in some strange way, I would tell this story and I would hide in it. Now, I'm discovering the closer I get to the truth of it, the more difficult it is for me to tell. It is teaching me a lot about the nature of acting, performing, story-telling and why I have chosen this profession. Whenever I get bored with my work, I do my show. That's the simple truth. However, I'm learning now that the truth really is...whenever I get boring in my work, I do my show, and the show will "'splain" me why. I get general. I take it for granted and I've become generally not present. I think the answer I'm uncovering is really....I do the show because it's profoundly and deeply gratifying. Not the kind of gratification that comes from being seen or witnessed, although I'm sure on some performance level, that is gratifying, but because I understand the nature of what it truly means to dig deep within yourself for answers that you've been asking since you were still just a kid and didn't know any better. And as an adult you discover, but you did. You did know better. And the lessons you uncover will always be like a creative gift you gave yourself that you, for once, slowly took the time to unwrap, hold up to the light, appreciate, admire and finally...celebrate.

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Posted by Michelle @ 8/05/2010 10:22:00 AM