As in workouts, so in life. I am really starting to appreciate the value of the Nike motto as a theatre artist. Oftentimes, we are asked to do things that “civilians” would never dream of doing without a few shots of liquid courage in their system. For example, at a recent audition:
Director: “Lauren, would you be comfortable with onstage sexual actions and/or possible nudity?”
Typical Person: “….let me out of here right now or I’ll sue.”
That is just how we roll here. If you would have asked me last year, or in high school, my response probably would have had a lot more trepidation. But I’ve realized this year that the only thing to be afraid of with this stuff is yourself. You’re playing a character. If you’re doing your job correctly, the audience won’t be thinking, “Oh my God, look at Lauren making out with that guy onstage! You go girl!” They will be thinking, “I can’t believe that character would cheat on her husband with this guy! Stop kissing him! Stop!”
Or something along those lines.
The reason I’m thinking about this is a callback I participated in on Friday for Medea, which is a crazy Greek tragedy in which a mother kills her children to get back at their cheating father.
Disney material, I know.
I was called back for the Greek chorus, and the director had split us up into four groups of nine. I was in the first group, and had a hunch we’d be doing something crazy, so I wore active wear and mentally prepared to Just Do It. And sure enough, as soon as we were in the room, the director said, “I’d like you all to dance to these two songs I’m going to play. I just want to see how you move.” He then proceeded to play two very long, and very techo-odd-dubstep-genre songs.
I love to dance. So I did. Like nobody was watching. My mindset was, “I’m at a party with some of my very best acting friends, and we are just going for it.”
And I actually had a blast. Probably the highlight of my week.
After we got done, about half of the girls talked about how odd they thought that was, how they were supremely uncomfortable, and how they can’t dance. I’m sure there is a situation where I would feel the same (if someone asked me to play sports in front of them for ten minutes, I’d probably be at a loss too). But I thought: it’s just for fun. You’re getting outside of yourself. I am not a ballerina by any means, but I love to just move and have fun to the music.
So sometimes, it really will work out for the best if you stop thinking about it and Just. Do. It.