Thursday, August 06, 2009

Thespian Tendencies

I've never wanted to act in a play. I don't like being on show in that way and learning lines makes me nervous. I have found myself on stage on many occasions, however, often wondering how I got into this.

I do a lot of roleplay to help to train and to assess doctors, nurses etc, which is acting a role, though improvised, and I'm totally in my comfort zone with that - I can improvise easily as I've had a lot of practice and - - er - - I'm never at a loss for words! (That's politespeak for Never Shuts Up). But I can improvise in character, and stay that way, I know that. I was asked today if I'd ever come out of character. I'm not confident about many things but to this I could answer, with confidence, no, never.

Being on a stage, however, saying lines that you've learned - - no, that doesn't appeal to me at all, apart from being able to time a line to make it funny - I enjoy doing that.

This evening I was at a showcase run by one of Leeds' best amateur theatre groups. They were trying out some new amateur directors.

The evening was a huge success. It was packed, and the standard of acting and directing was very high. I was there because I'd gone to see a young actress who has applied to the agency I work for. Normally I'd tell professionals to avoid working with amateurs as casting directors ignore any amateur work totally.

However, this girl was excellent and had worked out that this piece would demonstrate her skills very well, and it did.

All the company knew each other, of course, and they were a friendly bunch, all working together and willing their actors to do well.

I was very involved with an amateur drama workshop group for a number of years, and I loved it. I wrote several of their Christmas children's shows and enjoyed that too. One year I wrote a very complicated song for one character, with very tricky words. The woman who was playing the role got flu and I had to do it - - it served me right, perhaps!

But I was always happiest working backstage, stage managing, making the tea, sweeping the stage, working a follow spot and generally doing anything that needed doing. Seeing the drama group today reminded me of those times.

I didn't want to go back to those days, though. It made me realise that my areas of interest have changed slightly. These days I enjoy trying to get auditions and jobs for the actors I work with, and I also enjoy doing the medical roleplay. I enjoy watching plays, but I don't really want to get involved in putting them on. And even with watching plays - - well, I've seen so many that I'm very choosy.

In many ways, I don't think I have changed much over the years. But in this, I think I have.


Blogger Jennytc said...

It's nice that you have had such varied experience, though, Daphne.

10:03 am  
Blogger Debby said...

I was a thespian in school. I belong to the theater group in our park....I guess I haven't changed much over the years either!

3:33 am  

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