So for the last week I have been involved in UCD Dramsoc's production of Simon Stephen's "Motortown". My character is Jade and actually I didn't find myself doing a lot of research for this role.
Jade is a 14 year old girl from London and she is going out with a grown man in his late 20's or early 30's. She left school and chose not to do high school (6th Form) and is now spending her days in Paul's flat and dreaming of one day going back to school.
Motortown is a play centered around an ex-soldier's return home after being in Basra. Although not all together sane before the war, Danny (the ex-soldier) is a man that returns to his him win Essex, damaged.
Jade and Danny first meet in Paul's flat when Danny looks to get a disused gun altered to fire live ammo. A Few days later Danny kidnaps Jade in the hopes that she will restore his faith and respect in Humanity. The scene doesn't end well, and He proceeds to torture her, burning her hand with a cigarette, hitting the sole of her foot with the end of his gun, placing the gun right by her mouth and then finishing it off by pouring petrol over her and shooting her.
The scene is intense and I am in floods of tears almost constantly throughout it. I can tell you it is no easy job crying every single night for 5 nights. And it's exhausting!! it's so tiring because honestly I am so emotionally and physically drained and have been like this for the whole week. However you just get through.
Now, my trick is, I am freezing cold on stage. I have a blood pack attached to my back and that adds more to lowering my body's temperature. I am actually shivering on stage and even while I sit at the side of the stage waiting for my scene my body is shaking all over. And I find this actually really helps frame my mind. Because the shivering helps my body focus on being cold and then in my scene the shivering turns to fear and this helps me cry each night.
At one point Danny asks Jade to take her jacket off and takes a picture of her on his camera phone. This also helps me cry because their is sever emotional significance in removing an item of clothing and being made vulnerable. So I focus on her vulnerability.
During rehearsals I never fully did the scene with all my emotional energy because honestly if you over do a scene the emotion on stage won't have that authentic effect. so that is also key, if your scene is extremely emotional or traumatizing then it's best to leave most of your emotional connection to it until the dress rehearsal or first night. Always give about 50% in rehearsal if you're supposed to be crying. I find this helps and if the director understands then thats an added bonus. If the director asks you to put full emotion in, then do it. He/she is the director after all.
Ok so there are my tips for crying on stage in some sort of traumatic scene, I find being cold to the point of shivering helps me a lot to prepare for a scene, also try and keep focus on why you are crying, what has brought you to this point. Why are you afraid? How did the unwritten scene before your scene play out? (e.g. in Motortown, the scene where Danny kidnaps Jade or forces her to go with him is unwritten, and so I think about how it would feel to be forced into a car with a much older man, a stranger and being brought somewhere you didn't even know existed)
If you loose focus waiting for your scene, concentrate on your breathing or press your thumb to your middle finger of each hand, because it helps you concentrate and bring your mind back to the present and the task at hand.
Now on to Cuckoo, my RTE Storyland competition entry.
I watched it the morning it came out, Monday 13th of Feb... and well... my verdict is.. I overact. but I would love the chance to learn how to bring it back few notches. and I can only do this with the second episode so I need everyone's votes to get us through to the next round.
Basically the story is about a teenager, Niamh Keegan, who feels like she doesn't fit in anywhere. and One day she see's a digitally enhanced photograph of what a missing child would look like today. It looks an awful lot like Niamh and this gives her reason to feel like she may actually have been kidnapped when she was younger by her current parents. ... Dun Dun Duuun!!
I know, whats with all the kidnapped characters? ... i dunno.. all I know is that we need your votes so...
HOW TO VOTE:
To vote, visit www.rte.ie/storyland and click on the ‘VOTE HERE’ icon.
You will be taken directly to Facebook and asked to login to your own Facebook account.
Once logged in, you will see a list of all 8 series.
Click on ‘CUCKOO’ and your vote will be submitted. Simple! Thank you so much!
Please pass the word to all your friends!
Thanks very much guys! give me the chance to improve!! xxx