So it’s less than 2 weeks to the opening night of my play. It’s been a wonderful and enriching journey so far, and I’ve learnt so much just by attending rehearsals, talking to fellow actors backstage (and getting ‘scolded’ by the director! =), watching scenes being directed, chatting with the costumes and sound people, and getting excited when the flyers were printed. I think a few things stand out from what I’ve learned so far:
1. Listen & react: This is supposedly the hardest thing to do sometimes on stage because we may be caught up with delivering our lines, that we sometimes don’t listen enough to our fellow actors or react in the right way when we hear the lines from our co-actors.
2. Connect with the audience: Although there are only 7 cast members in this play, we need to remember that there is an 8th member, who is the audience. We need to connect with the audience so that they are also part of the drama and adventure that is unfolding on stage.
3. Don’t act. Be.: One of the cardinal no-no’s of acting is that you don’t ‘act’ the role you are playing, you become the role. So you will never be shy on stage because you are the role and people aren’t shy about themselves when, well, they are themselves.
4. Go 100%: There is only 1 shot of playing that role well every night of the production. There is no ‘Cut!’, no ‘retakes’ to fall back on, so we have to go 100%. That makes it both exhausting and yet wonderfully energetic and ‘alive’ at the same time.
5. Play: We have to remember that we have to play in a play. Loosen your shoulders, stretch your face, relax your body, have fun! =) Don’t be too caught up with remembering lines or moving to the blocking…just go with the flow with your fellow actors. They will take you there. =)
Last week, ChannelNewsAsia came to film our rehearsal and to interview Jacke, Jeff and Belinda. Hearing Jacke talk about the story of his grandmother which inspired him to write this play was at once touching and and at the same time extremely poignant as I remembered my own grandma and her days at the nursing home. This play is really starting to resound in so many more ways for me than I can imagine…