Tag Archives: Stage Acting

I get stage fright and gremlins in my head saying: ‘You’re going to forget your lines’. — Alan Rickman

stagefrightstage-fright

I remember listening to a recording of a very interesting interview Richard Attenborough gave on a radio program back in the 1970s. He discussed his role, that of John Christie, in the motion picture “10 Rillington Place.” John Christie was an English serial killer who was hanged for his crimes in 1953. In particular, Attenborough discussed how he went about inhabiting the character of Christie. What struck me in the interview was his opening comment (offered in a lighthearted tone),  something to the effect that “actors are dramatic people.” I chuckled when I heard his comment. “How true this is,” I thought. He continued the interview explaining that he needed a very deep level of concentration to inhabit the character of John Christie. In addition, in a subsequent interview Attenborough credited the director, Richard Fleischer, who instilled in him the confidence he needed to successfully inhabit the character of John Christie. I understand the need for a deep level of concentration and confidence to successfully inhabit a character. This comes as no surprise, but listening to Attenborough discuss acting technique made me think of stage fright, the actor’s nightmare. Continue reading

Advertisements

Says he, ‘I am a handsome man, but I’m a gay deceiver.’ — George Colman, the Younger ( 1762-1836)

him_and_her_bedHOLLYOAKS_TX_08_06_07_2

Is it more comfortable for gay actors to play straight characters, or for heterosexual actors to play gay roles? As an actor myself, this question crossed my mind. I took training in acting technique at the Ottawa Theatre School, in workshops with professional theatre companies and with an acting coach. I appeared in many amateur stage productions over the years. The three actors in the photographs above are known for playing gay and heterosexual characters in British television series. Russell Tovey, the man, seen embracing the woman, is famous for playing heterosexual characters in Being Human and Him & Her. He is gay. James Sutton, the young man wearing the green and a cream striped pullover, and Guy Burnet, seated next to him, became widely known for their portrayal as gay characters in a relationship in the British soap opera Hollyoaks. Both of these men are heterosexual. Having seen their respective performances, I am duly impressed. They are fine actors. They were able to inhabit their characters, gay and heterosexual, successfully, giving a believable portrayal; still, I wonder is it easier for a gay actor to play straight or for a straight actor to play gay? Continue reading