Posted by: nancykenny | January 25, 2012

Where Is the Love?

It’s been months since I last performed, heck even worked on Roller Derby Saved My Soul. Some days it feels like this lovely adventure that happened to someone else, like memories of my high school graduation or my first grown up relationship. Did I really do that? Did it all really happen? A few days ago, feeling nostalgic, I watched some clips of Buffy the Vampire Slayer online, thinking yes, this is what I need to get back on track and… ZOMG! Was the acting ALWAYS this bad? It was painful. I had to stop watching. I can’t poison my feeling for the show otherwise RDSmS just doesn’t work. So I sat through my archival video instead in order to update my script and found myself scowling.

Really? This is funny? Really?! this is what I want to take on tour across the country? Because I’m not seeing it anymore.

A couple of days ago, I brought my roller skates to acting class and used them in a scene. It felt great. Like slipping into a warm bath or a gentle hug only for your feet. I know, somewhere, deep down, the magic is still there, but I’m just not seeing it anymore. I don’t feel like a creator, an artist, anymore. I feel like an office drone and I’m really not sure how to get out of it. I’m really not sure I even want to do RDSmS anymore…

I miss my team, but we’re in different cities with different things on the go now. I wish I could get us all together for rehearsal. I wish I had a reason to put on the show again, one more time, just to know if I’ve still “got it”.

So I’m asking all my fring-y artist friends who create, produce and perform their own work: does this ever happen to you? How do you deal with it?



  1. it happens to me all the time. it’s happening right now in fact. i have to workshop a play i am sick of, am sure is total crap and am not totally convinced is even worth continuing… it feels daunting and the play feels obnoxious and childish. i think we all have to go through it so we can fall back in love with our work after this little period… or at least that’s what i hope will happen.

    ps: the acting on buffy was intentionally bad which made it awesome!

    • OMG! “obnoxious and childish” That’s exactly it! That’s how it feels. Thank you for saying this, Michelle. I really do hope that once I get back into it,I will fall in love all over again, but right now it feels so improbable.

  2. Um…par for the course? I feel that about all my shows. I feel like a fraud and that everyone collectively lapsed into some sort of delusion that what I did was ok, let alone worth paying money for.

    But I think we all go there. It’s good to have the remove. Try reading it like you’re a dramaturg. Purely from an engineering point of view. Go from there. Feeling this way doesn’t mean it’s crap. It just means you haven’t read it in awhile and there’s no adrenaline pumping in your system over it.

    I’m sure Shakespeare wondered why anyone ever loved Midsummer Night’s Dream.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve felt like that at times, and sometimes, it just means it’s time to put that project aside and find something else that excites. Sometimes it needs a weekend of hiking in beautiful part of nature. Or a new relationship. Some sort of inspiration to find new kindling within our souls to spark the next adventure.

  4. I know this isn’t very artsy, but then I’m not an artsy guy. So I’m going to try the evidence-based approach:

    “shows off Nancy Kenny’s excellent talents as a comic actress.”

    ‘they gave the material a lot of comic and emotional depth and a show that certainly did speak to a lot of people.”

    “Such precision and finely tuned work is perfect escapism and purely satisfying entertainment.”

    “Kenny’s dead pan face that betrayed her excellent comic performance right from the beginning, developped into a gaze that glowed with pleasure.”

    “What we see essentially then, is an excellent comic actress who knows how to work her face, control her emotions, seize all the the right moments and discipline her whole body. Her level of professionalism is obvious. This is a feel good funny show with serious undertones Go see it.”

    “The play has some truly brilliant moments; an extremely funny opening sequence involving a much-loved episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a clever techno dance-inspired costume change as Amy dons her new derby gear for the first time, and a impressive depiction of inebriation on wheels.”

    “it is Amy’s vulnerability and unpretentious honesty which bring the audience to her side. Kenny’s treatment of Amy’s tough-talking, alpha female younger sister (and derby coach) is particularly compelling.”

    “women are all crazy insecure bitches”

    “Playwright and performer Kenny uses the perfect mixture of humour and sensitivity to penetrate the hearts of the audience”

    “She celebrates the hero in all of us, and makes us want to go out, lace up pair of skates, and like this play, kick some ass.”

    None of these are my words, so I’m being completely objective.

    My conclusion based on the above evidence: yup, TOTAL failure.

    • Game. Set. Match. – Brian

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