“In a rehearsal room, your real resource as an actor aren’t the things around you; your resources are your imagination and your director and the other actors. In those close quarters, your imagination and your skills are what you turn to.” – Stephen Lang
I arrive. I find my script, pencil, and notebook. Make sure I have water. Did I bring a snack? I have been awake for eleven hours; nearly half the day already. I have been to my job, but real work is about to begin.
My colleagues arrive. My friends. We catch up on the 20 hours that have past since we last saw each other. Not much has happened, but always something worth reporting. We hug. We stretch. We eat each other’s snacks.
My director arrives. I am ready to work hard. I am eager to please.
Refocusing my brain is difficult. I have been myself for eleven hours today. That ends now.
I get to explore someone else’s world. Someone else’s body. Someone else’s emotions.
It’s terrifying. It’s constraining. It makes new muscles hurt.
My character: Mary.
Mary arrives. She has her script ready. That’s all she needs. She has no water. She has no snacks. When was the last time she ate? She has been awake since the sun came up. She has been working all day under the hot sun, but now the fun begins.
Her fellow convicts arrive. Her friends. Her enemies. They have been together all day. Nothing to report. Did you bring something to eat?
Her director arrives. She is ready to work hard. She is eager to please.
Refocusing her brain is difficult. She has been herself her entire life. That ends now.
She gets to explore someone else’s world. Someone else’s body. Someone else’s emotions.
It’s delightful. It’s liberating. It eases the pain.
Resident Acting Company Member
Mary in Our Country’s Good