It might have come at you a little too thick and fast on Sunday.
It might have rocked a few foundations, made a few lower lips wobble…caused some voices to shake.
NO BAD THING
CHANGE is uncomfortable, being emotionally naked in a room with others certainly is.
NOTHING CHANGES till the defences and barriers drop; till the baggage is lost, the chest…is full and free.
If you felt somewhere inside you a lock was turning and a chain loosened slightly around you, then you had a good acting day.
if you felt the chain tighten and the walls strengthen to protect you, then this is not the way for you.
The Opening Lines to NTC REMOTE are proof that we all have our dilemmas.
Stef Smith has chosen to start her play with these important words
STEP. ONE FOOT
THEN THE OTHER
ONTO THE FRONT STEP
SHE CLOSE THE DOOR BEGIND HER
FRESH AIR HITS HER FACE
…but you can see by the number of notes, diagrams, highlights, squiggles and corrections to my script already – there is no easy way to make this “opening” dramatically happen – not so much the simple opening of a door to fathom , but the significance of the act – the truth of why the lock is undone, the handle turned , the door opened and the barrier pushed through – why the step forward is voluntarily made.
ANTLER ( our protagonist ) exits her life because she need to re-enter ( exist) somewhere else.
She does this herself. the CHORUS may be her subtextual thoughts, TREE her guffinesque soul, but she moves herself to do this – necessity is after all – the mother of invention
She has to go, she has somewhere she needs to be. Simple as.
Do you need to be here right now?
not do you want to be here…
Do you need to be here in the SPACE ?
there is a huge difference in the words want and need
we all want things
but do we need them ?
to need something suggests you will actively go out and seek it for yourself
to want it is merely to think of you – it is more about you in relation to others
the VOCAL TONE of the empty space room, on first entry yesterday, was more about fitting in with “the want of others”
Did you want to be there? – probably not all – an extra hour in bed , some phone time , or even just a sun – day would have been just as satisfying.
EXCITED , DRIVEN PEOPLE, MAKE THEIR OWN CREATIVE ENRGY.
But then I perhaps am overlooking the little voice amongst you that is trying to be heard above the throng of silence. The needier voice inside the room that demands – on quote another level – what can this can do for me?
A little voice, not in size, but still in number – the ones who will likewise say:
“good riddance” and then, ” its one foot in front of the other …strong strides forward …always facing forward ”
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE WANTING OR NEEDING THIS SPACE ?
Here in my mind, is how :
you related to the REMOTE CAST when they switched over with you , not as panto team mates , but as privileged fellow member of the ACTING SPACE
you have already looked at your voice book – even just to put it somewhere safe
you maybe even googled your audition speech playwright
you will definitely have thought about the first session from time to time that day
you will have worried that you are not good enough
you will have talked to a friend or parent about it – even just to say ” it overwhelmed me ”
you will have felt different in some remote inexplicable way
you will have changed your view point on what PACE is now for you
you will be feeling lost, vulnerable, even a little afraid but at the same time excited, confident and more positive in your choices.
you will be safe …eventually.
SAFE is when we are confident enough in ourselves to empathise with the complexity of others – to need to positively help and work with , not to want to belong to and be like
As the week now unfolds and heads upwards ( or downwards ?) to your next SPACE encounter, think on this:
admitting you are weak at something is not the same as not being good at it
admitting you know nothing is not the same as being able to learn how
admitting you are not as confident as you thought you were is not the same as having the potential to be unstoppable
As my lead actress Louise McCourt takes her first tentative steps as ANTLER in this National Theatre Connections 2015 play – she has the weight of the acting world on her shoulders, the sometimes unreal expectations of a PACE generation swirling round her mind like a magic eight ball – she is weak and vulnerable and a little clueless, lacking confidence and lost in her own need to find herself in this play
she doesn’t just want this – she needs this chance to change her future Direction.
They all do. Each actor and actress I have cast.
..and like the rest of her cast …LOUISE will be great on stage , she will be free and full, standing tall , basking in her own sunlight.
how do I know this ?
the PACE camera never lies…
Next time you take a selfie – have a look at what you are SENDING out to the world about “who you are” , and what your message is ?!
if you don’t like your own image for cyber world – time to change your reality !