After the first week of rehearsals, Michael Gamache (DSF’s Ghost, Player King, and Gravedigger) shared a few thoughts about where he is in the process of creating his multiple roles.
Our second week of rehearsals have ended, and the basic staging is completely done. This is a critical and exciting time. We have painted with the broad brush, and now we get to do some detail work and color inside (and outside) the lines. As actors, this means truly leaving the page and entering the stage. Communication increases, confidence grows, and generosity—both giving and taking from each other—becomes crucial. It is through this that we will be able to mine deeper into the material.
It strikes me more than ever how much this play is about relationships. The language is always important, but if I walk out for a play like this and don’t completely understand what I feel about every other character I see (and believe me, those emotions are complicated), I’m dead.
When exploring multiple characters, we often think about how they are different. But for me, I like to see how they are different by exploring how they are similar. For instance, all of my characters feel pain. But how they carry that pain, deal with that pain, and transfer that pain may differ greatly. Suppose for a second that each character has been dealt the same amount of pain over the course of their lives. How then have they become so different? That is the kind of exploration that I am looking forward to in the coming weeks.
It is times like these that I am grateful to be able to fail with bravery and succeed from failure.