It’s a real joy to know that an audience is leaving the theatre entertained. It’s a buzz being onstage and feeling the audience sitting forward to gladly accept your performance. Measure for Measure has been like that. Now I’m sure some folk have left the cavernous Black Box unsatisfied with our work but I am equally sure that there’s not been many. We’ve had some great feedback but even if people hadn’t told us that they’d enjoyed the show we’d have known from the vibe onstage. That awareness of how well a play is going whilst onstage isn’t always a given – I’ve often come offstage after a show thinking I nailed it tonight only to be told otherwise by the director, and vice versa. Yet there are times when the atmosphere is unmistakable. And when that happens, when you’re onstage and you have surrendered as much as possible to the moment and you know that the audience are getting it, loving it, living it, and a fluidity is achieved, when that happens I am reminded why I want to be an actor. It’s great to be in the audience with a sense of joy at watching a good job done well and I am sure many of you have felt that now and again. But man you should feel what it’s like from onstage. It’s a fucking drug and I am an addict. Actually it’s more than any poxy drug with its comedown and drop – it’s spiritual and has the ability to heal.
Surrender is the key. If I am not focused onstage my performance sucks. I am thinking about the performance rather than living it. I am worrying that the audience mightn’t realise just how great an actor I am rather than showing them just that by serving the play. My job is to serve the play.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be recognised and admired as long as I am honest about such desires. But for a play like our Measure for Measure such attention only gets in the way. This is Ensemble theatre with a capital E. Sure Max has the last word on decisions – it’s his gig after all – but almost always that decision is based on the actors’ discoveries throughout the process.
Not everything comes easy. Overdone is still a little under done if I’m to be honest. (S)he has evaded me. I avoided her/him. My original vision of this goddess with a cock was different I think from what Max saw. I neglected to speak up in the early rehearsals for the wo-man I had in my head and heart. Max understandably grew frustrated with the lack of progress. He didn’t know that I was struggling because I never said so. We got there in the end, somewhat. Yet I still don’t know her/his centre.
“Who’s there? Come in.” Provost is a decent man. He let me in the door without much fuss. I knew him pretty much straight away. I wonder if my dad will recognise him.
There’s a fine cast performing in Measure. We have a great crew too. But Seán T. deserves a particular shout-out for such an amazing job done in such a short amount of time.
This Shakespeare fellow’s not bad. In fact him and his buddy Mikhail Aleksandrovich Chekhov make acting easy.
We’ve done three performances so far. I think by 8pm tonight I’ll be over the jitters enough to really enjoy the play. And then there’s tomorrow night and that’s it. It’s insane to consider that we will only have five opportunities to put this fine piece of work before a paying audience. There must be a tour.