Theatre is a life. We all reach different levels. Some would reference a stage and characters and roles. Then step away and find the same in our own quiet lives. We walk across a stage every day, in any action we choose. It only seems right then that we all want to play out our best interpretation of ourselves. A long time ago, I fell in love with theatre and everything about performance, showcasing, recognizing a fascination with people developing lives and playing them out on stage. As all of that was happening, my own life was a shambles, always trying to stay above water in whatever circumstance I was a part of, whether it be my job, my interactions with my family, my relationships.
I found the theatre to be a safe place because where else could we play a life outside of our own. And how fascinating is that? People practicing just how to look someone in the eye and make that moment as believable as they wish they might in a real hour. I remember practicing lines and being on the stage with other people. The one thing that always got in my way was my comfort zone with stepping into a character. I don’t think I ever achieved that, and similarly how many of us have been confronted with our own measure of who we are and what we have become and made for ourselves over time.
Who are we to suggest we are anyone but ourselves? That is the life of an actor in theatre. They play personalities outside themselves their entire career. For me, I chose to figure out a way to teach students how to find themselves on stage. Even in suggesting such, I am forgetting the central focus of an actor to understand the energy of that person, that role they are playing. So, in other words, there are so many fundamentals necessary to portray someone outside of ourselves.
And that’s what I love more than anything else about the theatre.