First: Come see Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. This is not shameless self-promotion. This is the truth. Your life will be changed for the better if you come see this.
Second: I have worked in this business a long time. And yet, never have I had this realization before now.
During rehearsal last week, there was a moment when Cody Nickell enacted the moment where “Marley froze.” I asked him not only to freeze but to show us the emotion that Marley was feeling in the moment…the WHY he froze. And he did. Brilliantly. And I froze. And got chills. And was grateful.
And in that very moment, the realization of how very important actors are washed over me. I have always known that live theatre was alchemical. I’ve always known that something magic happens in that little room that I have yet to completely understand, and that the actors were the magicians.
But what I failed to understand is that actors, the really good ones, are members of an elite group: the great metaphycisians. Through their years of training, and decades of experience, they have honed their bodies and their hearts and their minds to be completely open, susceptible to every emotion, bringing every thought to beautifully expressed fruition. They do for us what we rarely allow ourselves to do for our very own selves. They FEEL. And as we watch, we feel too.
These very brave souls have signed on to give us the gift of access to our own emotions. This is a very great gift indeed.