Baking Bread & Acting

For my birthday (June), my mother gave me a Lodge 7 quart cast iron dutch oven so I could make No Knead Bread popularized by the New York Times. It’s a simple recipe: flour, salt, yeast, water. That’s it. All the ingredients you need. But here’s the catch. I’ve made six loaves of bread so far. Each has gotten progressively better, but it’s a work in progress.

Acting feels the same way. In the first paragraph of Viola Spolin’s book, “Improvisation for the Theater,” (and Rob Adler, AdlerImprov constantly reinforces), “Everyone can act. Everyone can improvise. Anyone who wishes to can play in the theater and learn to become ‘stageworthy.’ We learn through experience and experiencing, and no one teaches anyone anything.” Similarly, everyone has the ingredients to be an actor, but it’s a process of doing, practicing and constantly refining.

Like my first couple scenes, my first few loaves of bread had room for improvement. The transfer from towel to blazing hot dutch oven didn’t go well the first four loaves because the dough stuck to the towel. I did some research. I read that letting the dough rise overnight in a crock pot was better than the bowl, wiping the sides of the crock pot with olive oil would help removing the dough, and using flour sack towels (I ordered some from Breadtopia), would make the transfer to the dutch oven easier. It worked!

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As for my acting career, I’m ready to make the transfer from the metaphorical towel (acting classes) to the blazing hot dutch oven of LA (commercials, TV and film).