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Friday, June 25, 2010

Cause When You're Sixteen.. or Just Acting Like It

As many of you know, I have recently embarked on a journey of regression... to teenhood. Some of you may say, "Wow, Erika, you act like you're five quite often." While this is true, this is not what I mean. I am playing a 16 year old, drug addict in Happy Medium's Refuge at the end of July. I've been researching a number of things for this role - the effects of heroin on the body, how to dance at rave (it's not easy let me tell you!), how exactly to fake snort drugs on stage - but it didn't occur to me until Wednesday night's rehearsal that I needed to learn how to think like a 16 year old. While I feel like I have a pretty solid grasp on who my character is, a lonely young girl who lacks a solid familial structure and turns to drugs as an escape from her desolate life, it wasn't until my director said, "Now you're thinking like a teenager - that's exactly how a teenager would view this situation," that I realized I need to connect with how Becca THINKS. It was one of those, "oh yeah" moments where you realize that you have to stop "playing" the character and let the character seep into you, even if it's just for those three hours you spend at rehearsal. I anticipated that it would be a challenge to act like I'm on drugs but I didn't anticipate this. At 16, your world revolves around you. Emotions don't always have concrete reasons because they are reactions to words and actions and lack of actions. At 16, everything is a huge deal because you DO "sweat the small stuff," especially in a world like Refuge where the characters live in their own bubble of disorder. I learned this in a few short moments on Wednesday and I'm excited to try my "new mindset" out at our next rehearsal. That's all I've got - a simple realization on a Thursday night. Because that's why we have rehearsal, to play and to grow and to discover. Stay tuned. I'm sure there's more of this journey to come.

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