The Past Four Weeks
The past four weeks have been some of the most difficult, taxing, yet rewarding weeks of my life. To be in such a groundbreaking and monumental show is not an easy feat. The first week was full of “devising”— the dreaded exercise in which we all take a pre-existing scene in the show and devise the most inventive ways of carrying it out. It is the ultimate test of creativity that, frankly, makes you question if you’re even allowed to call yourself an artist. Hours and hours of summoning all of the creative juices that flow within was probably the quickest way of depleting our energy; However, it led to the most beautiful discoveries that are now the foundation of our show.
Once we were able to move past that stage of the creative process, we began blocking and solidifying some of our creative choices to begin building the production— Which is one of the most exciting parts of the rehearsal process!
The hardest part of rehearsing this show is inhabiting the humans that come with it. We have spent so much time with these characters— forming their words, actions and movements so much that they become second nature. However, these people that we have created, loved, and nurtured are some of the most difficult to love. Personally speaking, I am playing someone I would find abhorrent if I ever engaged with her in real life. Her ideals, morals, and personality are quite different from my own. In fact, I find them disgusting. But my job as an actress is not to judge her, but rather find the truth in her existence and speak it with honesty. Whether or not I agree with her is completely irrelevant right now.
All of us in this production have been given the difficult task of saying “Yes and…”, completely agreeing with what has been given to us in order to further the story. Whether you are playing the hero or, in my case, the villain, it is important to acknowledge that the message of a play cannot be successfully carried out without the full commitment from each and every cast member on stage. People we don’t agree with exist in real life, therefore, they should exist in our shows too. That’s what makes great theatre— the kind that makes you question the world around you.
I’ll spare you the boring details of working and reworking the same scenes over and over; But, I wish I could share with you, the small moments of joy that occur between the lines we utter on stage and the giggles behind the costume rack when someone misses a cue. The moments that will never grace our stage, but have impacted all of us for the better.
Over the past few weeks, I have experienced the most intimate moments of people’s lives. I’ve heard people’s testimonies, I’ve seen them discover little things about themselves that they never knew or liked before. I had the privilege of attending my friend’s “coming out” party and got to celebrate him for what he used to hate about himself. I got to explore the beautiful city of Glasgow with some of my best friends on my 21st birthday.
I have fallen in love twenty-one times with twenty-one different people.
I have seen my closest friends pick themselves off of the floor, having just dealt with traumatic family events over the phone, and perform some of their best work.
I have been deeply touched by the vulnerability of this cast and their ability to be open with one another about their hardships. We trust in each other, we support each other, and we take care of one another. And I know that long after this show closes, we will continue to support each other.
It has not been an easy show to be a part of, but it has been deeply rewarding. I have no doubt that we will make some kind of a difference in this world—And if not the world, then most certainly in each other.