Family Ties

On Friday I had the opportunity to see Hand2Mouth Theatre’s original production of “Everyone Who Looks Like You,” a play about family relationships.  I volunteered to usher the show, which is a great way to see great theatre for free.  Rather than being a straight-forward play, the show explores a common theme through words, movement, gestures and music.  The set gives the suggestion of a home while being very open and fluid.  The company members are very gifted and have created a highly compelling piece.  The show runs until Nov. 22 and it is playing at Theatre! Theatre! on 34th and Belmont.  Tickets are $15 each.  You can find more information on the play at www.hand2mouththeatre.org.

Talking about this excellent show has reminded me that throughout my acting training, I have had the opportunity to explore how even a simple gesture can have great meaning.  For example, simply standing in a corner can make you feel isolated.  And from this simple movement a story can emerge.  Us actors have to remember to pay attention to every moment or movement because anything can be significant.  I am often tempted to plan things, make them happen, but I remind myself that I have to just let things happen and let the reactions of my fellow performers color my performance.  As one of my acting teachers told me, your scene partner can come up with better things than you can on your own.  I took a Viewpoints-inspired workshop a while back and it really forced me to depend on others rather than myself.  And it was amazing to see what I and my fellow performers could come up with.  We created a story without even trying.  And most of the time, we could only use movement and gestures.  Being a writer as well, I most often think in terms of dialogue, using the lines that I have to tell the story and not even considering the physical.  However, there is a statistic that 70% of communication is non-verbal and that certainly applies to the stage, but even more so to film because it’s even more visual.  So the physical aspects of performance really are what makes actor communication effective.  And successful communication is what us actors strive for.

In other news, today I am auditioning for the student films at the Arts Institute in Portland.  Wish me luck!

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