How do you prep for a role?

22 November, 2007 by No Comments

Quite by accident I’m reading a thriller set in Munich in 1929. The ‘by accident’ part refers to the fact that a lot of my thinking right now is centred around the production of Cabaret in which I’ve been cast. The ‘reading a thriller’ part is simply what I do for recreational reading … the kind of reading I do without a pencil in hand. It’s a Fay Kellerman Straight Into Darkness. It’s a good read so far … neat thriller, good characters … but it’s also full of terrific descriptions of the times … food for an actor getting a feel for a role.

I remember working with an actor once who swore by finding the right sensory trigger for his character. His was the sense of smell. He used Bay Rum in a production of The Rainmaker in which we toured for months. The smell of Bay Rum brings back that production immediately to me. More importantly for the actor, that smell aroused the character; it was a sensory springboard for each performance. Nice that I quite liked Bay Rum.

Other actors use talismanic items to assist them to get into the ‘creative state’ Stanislavski wrote about. For me it’s reading, but also finding the music of the times, of the character, the rhythm she moves to … I have used music as my springboard for years. Going to be interesting working on a musical …