It doesn't matter how hard your non-theatre related friends, family members or colleagues try, they will never understand how hard acting really is.
There's a lot more to it than just learning lines, rocking up and being told how to say them. Missing one vocal warm up can send me into worrying overdrive that I'm threatening my employment chances. Others can spend months pushing their bodies and minds to the limit to get into character (or a nice Oscar driven publicity campaign. See Leo and The Revenant) to convey the story truthfully. So when collaborative, not-for-profit support networks like The Monobox are offered to emerging theatre talents, it's a crime to not listen to their services. Sunday Speech Surgeries at the Monobox feature the opportunity to browse over 3,000 plays, from classical to contemporary; which are donated by industry professionals. The list is endless from David Tennant and Denise Gough to Ella Hickson, Caryl Churchill and (my soulmate) Simon Stephens all providing a wealth of inspiration to help exercise those imagination muscles. I was spoilt for choice and left with many gems I couldn't wait to try.
- A selection from The Monobox library
The speech show-back session was an invaluable way to get a speech off of a page and into action. Working with Andrew of the quirky SQUIRT Theatre Company provided a different perspective on an oldie I had in my mind; helping to revitalise what I had and also to boast the confidence of everyone's ability within the room. This is a rare occurrence in an industry where everyone is your competition.
And if you're still obsessed with being a Hollywood shining star, look no further than a starry-eyed Q&A panel was on today's playbill. None other than Craig Pearce (screenwriter of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby), Deirdre Mullins (National Theatre), Jamie Beamish (Pan) and Max Bennett (Shakespeare's Globe). What I found fascinating was that Mr Pearce's intimacy of his fallbacks and challenges in his very esteemed career, with the main golden nuggets of advice being "You can't get it wrong," "Find another means that inspires you to fund your acting," and "Make your own work. Working creates more work."
All in all, I highly enjoyed my Sunday at The Monobox! At times I do feel a bit lost in this weird world I have decided to pursue, but finding magical people who are just as crazy with me make it worthwhile. You never know when you'll find a stimulus that makes your soul sing, so always be active in whatever your artistic pursuit is!
- Learn more about The Monobox through their website.