An actor’s life for me!

English: Henry Irving
English: Henry Irving (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote in a previous post about my recent meeting with two female actors from a local theatre group. I wrote about how, on graduating drama school, one of the actors had been incredibly type-cast. This type-casting had led her to leave London and head North. However, this wasn’t the only revelation into the world of acting that I had that day.

The actors also discussed a recent production of Saturday Night, Sunday Morning  they had performed in. One of them had played a character that had had an affair with the lead. She discussed how, in order to understand the part properly, she had gone on an “improv date” with her fellow actor. “Obviously we couldn’t have an affair,” she said. “So instead we had an improvised date, where I had to leave by a certain time to get back to my ‘husband.'”

Now, I am not an actor and I maybe a bit naive but I’m sure I wouldn’t need to go on an “improv date” to imagine how I would feel about cheating on my husband. The words guilt and shame spring to mind and, no, this is not because I have. I haven’t – ever. All I have to do is close my eyes and imagine.

Another writer recently told me the story of how, on a tour of her recent play, the two lead actors fell in love and started a relationship. “How romantic,” was my first thought. “To mirror the characters they were playing.” And then I thought about it some more. They fell in love whilst playing characters that fall in love night after night. I mean, there’s no wonder this happened is there? Falling in love, night after night, must be so wonderful. Your heart-racing, your stomach doing somersaults, your palms slightly sweaty, the slight sicky feeling. It must become quite addictive.

But what happens when the tour has finished? What happens when you go back to being Fred and Jean instead of being Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. When there is no drama in your relationship. When there are no seemingly impossible odds to overcome. When instead of worrying over whether your pride has ruined your chances with the love of your life, you’re more concerned over who’s turn it is to empty the bins.

I’m glad I’ve decided to try to become a writer. I’m not sure my fragile sanity would stand the actor’s life.

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