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So, do I care about these people? If not, why are you telling me this?

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“Do I care about these people?”

As an Actor, that’s the way it always starts for me.

From the moment I pick up a script, watch a film, or see a stage play, it’s the question I have to answer.

If not, an insistent voice inside says, why are you telling me this?

If so, other questions quickly follow;

  • Do I care enough about these characters to spend more time with them?
  • Do I want to know what happens to them?
  • Do they make me feel?
  • Do they have something to offer me?
  • And, as an Actor reading a script, do I have something to offer them?

Let me be clear, by “caring” I don’t mean I have to Love, or even like, these characters!¬† But they must make me feel enough to want to know more. I might loathe a character but at the same time care enough to want him to get what’s coming to him. Or be redeemed.

Anything is better than apathy.

Most Directors will tell you “it’s all about the story.”¬† And for them, that’s true. They want to serve the text. They want to honour the writer’s journey. And their skill is seeing The Big Picture. Literally.

But I believe, for Actors, it should start one step earlier. With the characters.

Why?

Because ~ at least for me ~ the story can be a ripping yarn; a tale of Love and loss, of incredible events, of inspirational¬† grandeur,¬† with twists and turns and action and alchemy….

BUT….

If I don’t care about the characters this is happening to, I’m just not interested.

No amount of car chases, explosions, stunning visuals, groundbreaking digital effects, “big name”

Actors or heart-stopping stunts will keep me in my chair if I don’t care about the people.

I believe art shines a light on the human condition. It’s not always a pretty sight.

But ultimately, it’s the humanity we see and feel and share through art that enriches us all.

 

 

 

 

 

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