Deconstructing Reza…and then myself by Brit Whittle

Brit Whittle plays the character of “Serge” in ‘ART’ and “Alan” in GOD OF CARNAGE 

I’m in my head too much. This is the last place an actor should be. All this will subside once I get “off book”, in other words be in a place where I no longer need either of my scripts. Before that happens, I need to know: two scripts, two stories, two different characters, and two sets of lines, as well as two different sets of blocking for each show, each character’s intentions for the entire arc of each story, and how each character feels when said intentions are either fulfilled or interrupted. Sheesh.

So….the first phases of my preparation(s) have to be purely intellectual. I have to be in my head so I don’t learn things incorrectly, and thus not repeat mistakes through the run of these shows. I have to, for now, stay in my head….and I hate that. It DRIVES ME NUTS. I do best when I can let go of my scripts and just go at it. And working through a show in the beginning, when you know you are not “at your best” is uncomfortable, to say the least. Because I want the product to be as much fun for you as we are having working on it. My cast-mates are brilliant and I just want to match their energy and brilliance.  But for now, I have to quell those roaring voices in my head, admonishing my every move as I make my way toward getting “off book”. Will I make it? Can I do it? I’ve done over 30 professional shows in my career and it never ceases to amaze me how consistent this phenomena of “wondering if I’ll get there” repeats itself in rehearsals.

But as they say, faith can move mountains. Or in this case, move an actor toward an opening night performance (or two). As the days have gone by, things continue to fall into place beautifully. My fellow actors are already inspiring me with the level of their work. Our directors, both Kristen and Cody, have been amazing third eyes…or eye? You get the point. They catch and see so much, which helps us vault our work to another level. And finally, I keep discovering things I’ve never noticed before in each pass of these amazing scripts. “Run throughs” of these shows will ingrain our work into our bones…to the point where we can finally let go of these scripts and trust. Acting is not, nor was it ever meant to be, an intellectual pursuit. For me, at least. Acting is a visceral art for both actor and audience when it’s working.  And it works best when the actor is out of his or her head, so to speak.

There is one final ingredient this show needs and that would be you, our audience. I look forward to your arrival and the unique energy each of you will bring to these stories. In the meantime, we will be having a blast in rehearsals and preparing many an acting nugget for each of you to plunder when you do finally get here!

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