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What You May Have Forgotten and Why You Shouldn’t

February 15, 2012

Only 50% or so of theatre manifests onstage.  The rest happens somewhere else.

This weekend, I was in Foreplays2012: Full Fervor with Full Stop Collective.  The show as a whole looked something like this (clips from Foreplays2011):

And it took place here:

Image

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My piece was first.  Oh! There I am! (downstage left):

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When it was over, management let us watch the other plays from the mezzanine of Galapagos.  After being moved over and over again by these beautiful, hilarious, heart wrenching performances during rehearsal, I found myself darting for a hidden seat, craving to watch, not the stage, but The Audience.

Here, I found what was important.

  • Captivated stares
  • Explosions of laughter
  • Drinking of booze
  • Couples poking each other when a moment onstage reminded them of a moment in their lives

I loved watching people from different walks of life all get swept up by the same thing.

Actors, it’s not about us!  And once we accept this, we’ll be artists.  We already know that onstage, a scene is doomed if we make it about ourselves.  We must put the action on the other.  Same goes for theatre as a whole.  It’s not about strutting our stuff or having a time to shine.  When we give it our all, it’s not for our sake; it’s because we must do the story justice.  We are a vessel to allow a character to live for 20 minutes or 2 hours – however long the piece.  When the show is over, we get to go home to our husbands, our boyfriends, our … cat, and live out our lives.  These characters that we play have no such privilege.  They’re done right as the curtain falls.  Their lifespans are short, and our job is to let them breathe for a their sake and for the sake of the audiences who hear their stories.

I leave you with an image I drew months ago in a workshop by Lisa Gold (whose workshops I highly recommend).  She told us to create a visual that captured our overall reason of why we’re doing what we’re doing, so when the going gets tough, we still keep going.  Take from it what you will.

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So, my lovely artists, remember what’s important and continue to go …

Onwards and Upwards,

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2012 7:48 pm

    Great reminder, Newbie 🙂

  2. February 18, 2012 5:17 pm

    yes, great post

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