Feel the fear and do it anyway
July 16, 2012
It's a funny thing, fear. You can assemble some of the finest actors in the business, actors with a CV as long as your arm, actors with a wealth of enviable stage 'n' screen credits and yet would you believe that we're all still terrified?
Week four was definitely the week that fear started kicking in. We ALL start asking the questions:
Do I know my character well enough? Will we be ready in time for the first preview in two weeks?! Are we getting the right message across for Much Ado? Are we telling the story we WANT to tell?
Actors even started to question their abilities. Doubt them, even. Actors asked other actors, 'Was that scene okay?'. 'Do I make sense?'. 'Do you understand me?'. 'Do I sound Indian?'. 'Does my bum look big in this?'. The answer to all of those questions is - of course - yes.
Alarming comments are blurted out of our mouths. 'We only have two weeks left to rehearse - s**t!' 'We open in two weeks - s**t!' 'I don't think I know my lines'. 'I don't think I know the part that I'm supposed to be understudying's lines!'. 'I can't remember the blocking'. 'I can't remember my name'.
Dangerous declarations indeed.
The general public opinion is that actors, particularly those performing for the likes of the RSC (et al), are all uber-confident in their abilities; that they surely CAN'T be full of self-doubt or suffer from a crisis of confidence. Regardless of the length of the CV – we all go through it. It's all a part of the process and that's what goes into creating a piece of art.
The panic - and fear that sets in - happens to us all and it's inevitable. The conclusion will, of course, be a happy one. Particularly if the director's done his job properly. And (to be honest) we're in the hands of a quite superb director in Iqbal Khan and, believe me, there's no one capable of being more supportive and reassuring than our Director saab! He'll stitch everything together and slot it all beautifully into place.
Speaking of beauty, we worked a lot on the Claudio-Hero wedding scene this week. I've gotta say, I'm VERY excited about what we've got lined up for that. It's pretty cool. Hmmm. Can I give you a word that'll explain it but not give the game away? I probably can. Immersive.
We've got our own magical take on the masquerade ball, too. It's kaleidoscopic. It's intricate. It's a bit like synchronised swimming. Synchronised intricacy, if you will.
'Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny.'
by Muzz Khan
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