Good morning, and a very merry Monday to you!
Yet again, I find myself needing to apologise to you, you lovely and patient reader, for not having written anything for a while. Truth be told, preparation for the Fringe is taking up an insane amount of time, and I’m afraid the whole blogging thing slipped through my incredibly disorganised net. Today’s blog will be an extra 10% funny and uplifting, just for you.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from working in theatre is that everyone responds to emotional situations differently. What makes one person cry will make another angry, and what makes one person laugh out loud will at best raise a small smile from someone else. The bizarre thing is how drastically our emotional responses vary from those of our nearest and dearest. Certain things that would put you into the Anchorman “glass case of emotion” might only dip your best friend’s toe into the goldfish bowl of vague discomfort.
This can be a very good thing and a fairly weird one. It’s excellent to surround ourselves with people who can give us fresh perspectives, but sometimes it makes us feel less rational when our friends disagree with our responses. When it comes to emotional reactions we are particularly vulnerable, because our feelings tend to be relatively instinctive rather than especially thought through.
This is something that has come up quite a lot during rehearsals for Chris is Dead, partly because the content is quite emotionally charged, but also because the people involved are all very different. Despite his constant cries of “where are all the men?!”, our only male cast member is actually very sensitive to the most upsetting aspects of the story. (In case you hadn’t guessed, the title of the show pretty much explains what it’s about. You knew that already, right?) One of the girls tends to be very good at distancing herself from her character’s grief, and the third is stoically open-minded about how different aspects of the story will affect her at different points of the rehearsal process.
The best and most rewarding aspect of working with these cracking people is the fact that they really respect each other’s views. It’s hard enough working on a show about death without the cast disagreeing on their feelings about it, so I feel very lucky to be directing three such empathetic and lovely actors.
Although my head is very much stuck in a my-life-has-been-taken-over-by-rehearsals-what-on-earth-is-this-“sleep”-thing-you-speak-of-? sort of place, I can appreciate that the cast’s communal attitude is something that should be more prevalent in the real world. It might be baffling or annoying to find that we are not on the same wavelength as others around us, but we should have confidence in the validity of our feelings. We should also make the effort to try and understand where other people are coming from.
Have a stupendously enjoyable Monday.