Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oklahoma Shakes Day Twenty-four

Out of the company of thirty actors there are five or six who truly impress me, a few of whom are very young--not long out of college--and demonstrate joy, inventiveness, focus and humility. The last quality particularly intrigues me. I often find talented people to be selfish and arrogant, but I think maybe they learn to be those things, over time. In young artists, a certain purity seems to be the norm; perhaps, though, this is merely the outer-coloring that any tyro in any field must take to survive around those more established and privileged practitioners, who so often confuse longevity and experience with innate superiority, survival with divine right. Anyways.

Every rehearsal, I look forward to playing across from one particular actor--who is only on stage with me a few minutes, in two scenes--because he's so damned present and open. When he comes on, I can stop acting. All I need to do is react (even though most of the lines are still mine.) From our first rehearsals on, he has given text a light touch, never forcing it (admittedly, sometimes racing through lines, to their detriment), allowing his performance seemingly to develop organically and imperceptibly as an oyster, in sharp contrast to the way I've been handling text, which I've manhandled from day one. I hope to learn from this actor's example, and emulate his ease, next time out.

1 comment:

Signore Direttore said...

While I think this actor sounds terrific and displays talent and composure worth emulating, I think you need to give your own situation its due. You have a lot of text to carry and without a lot of experience playing big roles I think you're working exactly as you should be.