Back on the road with The Fairies: Re-finding our characters

Well, the Players are back on the road! After 4 weeks of performing Romeo And Juliet at the Sydney Opera House, the Fairies are back in the Kia Carnival, chowing down heart-stopping fast food and coming to a school near you (and hopefully to yours). We came back to our two touring shows (Macbeth: Undone and Midummer Madness) like Tin Man to a grease pot – groaning at first but now ready like a bat out of hell to rock our long way to the top down the long and winding yellow brick road that leads right to your door. 

 

Ed trying to re-find his character

 We have learnt a lot coming back to these plays we know so well. The biggest lesson for me has been how easy it is to simply “go through the motions” in a performance and not commit to the true needs of your character. By the end of the year we will have done each of these plays over two hundred times each, maybe more, so the temptation is for us to get complacent in our performances. This basically means we can say all the words and do all the moves, but not strive for the heart of the character – that part of them that fights for what they need and listens to the other characters. Without this heart, you get actors talking at each other, rather than to each other.

So, how do you avoid this? I’m discovering that this is where the work starts! It’s one thing to ‘solve’ your character and nut out their needs and objectives etc, but quite another to sustain it for a long run of a show. I am realizing that the answer lies in your other actors. If you can keep rediscovering the joy of playing the scene – revel in playing the stakes and daring each other to commit to them, you can find some real flexibility in your performance. The trick is to have the courage to leap down the road of new discovery and not cling to your safe, pre-discovered choices. That’s a fair bit of acting jargon, and I’m still figuring it out, but I hope you find it interesting. 

See you cats soon,

Ed

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