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  • Writer's pictureCriena

You and the Audience

A few weeks ago, I experienced an exhilarating moment on stage - playing with the audience.

The character I was playing required me to speak to the audience for the entirety of the show. We only had one show and so opening night was my only chance to have an audience.

It was AMAZING. It was if I was in a trance, half present and half saying oh sh%t they are with me on this. I felt their reaction, held for moments of laughter, played to the orchestra and balcony. I allowed them to react to what I was saying and I reacted to how they reacted. It was a conversation. I was alive with them. The audience and I became bestfriends in that rare hour and ten minutes. It was truly special for me as an actress.

Now my question is, how can I include the audience in a naturalistic/legit play? How can I be present with the audience and not let the fourth wall take me out of this make-believe world I live in? When I'm in a naturalistic setting, I feel like I have to ignore the audiences' reactions. Which is a shame, because that's powerful energy I'm not letting in.

This is why I love Shakespeare. Hamlet can mourn for his father and yet the actor can let the audience see how he is mourning. As an actor, you're saying to the audience 'do you see me experiencing this? Can you believe this is happening to me?'

As of right now all I have are questions. Can an audience truly be another character in a play? And if so, how?

Let me know your suggestions in the comment section below.

Stay hungry.

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