WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hearing yourself think

I am now of the opinion that everyone should experience having their own words read out loud in front of them. Even for a minute, just so they literally can hear themselves think for the first time. It doesn’t have to be with actors on a stage or in front of a camera. Even if you have to pay someone 15 bucks to read something you scribbled on a Dunkin Donuts napkin to random patrons until the manager bans you from Dunkin Donuts for life. And lets face it, that’d be a double blessing because you could probably stand to lose a few pounds.

OK, maybe you don’t, but I should probably lose more than a few.

My point is, that nothing helps you understand your own thought process and its place in the world more than listening to and observing how someone else interprets and interacts with what you’ve created. It gives you remarkable and startling insight into how the world perceives what you say and do. It’s the artistic equivalent of hearing your voice on an answering machine for the first time. Your voice sounds almost foreign to you even though it’s using the same words you did when you left the message and then you’re struck by the fact that this is how the world hears you.

When someone reads what you’ve written out loud for the first time, often, jokes that you thought were obvious were missed; subtext you thought was clear turns out to be muddied; and elements of characterization you thought were unnecessary turn out to be vital. It’s these moments of miscommunication between artists that make it obvious how much collaboration is an intrinsic part of theatre. This collaboration creates a desire to make your intentions clearer for the sake of your collaborators and the work drives you back to your pen, keyboard or hammer and chisel to begin refining your work. Because, thankfully, unlike your voice on an answering machine, you can work to make what you write more like what you heard in your head.

I’d like to thank The CoLab for taking their time with Dearly Beloved and allowing me to hear my words out loud with a plethora of different voices and as many times as was practical. The script would not have been as close to what I imagined without this opportunity.

** This post was written by Brendan Doris-Piece, author of Dearly Beloved premiering at Unity Somerville TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY!

Dearly Beloved
by: Brendan Doris Pierce
Directed by: Erika Geller

Alyce Householter
Patrick Poulin
Tony Rios

September 9, 10, 16, & 17
TICKETS HERE: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/190125

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