Today, I forced myself to rest after a long week and a long Saturday rehearsal. I reflected on our Friday night practice and how one discussion influenced the way in which I should approach my character. Marie, an actress who portrays our Prioress drove me home and I, much like the previous blog, explained in full detail my own physical struggles and spirtual devotion.
It would, of course to most, make sense that I should draw upon my own experinces. I was determined not to, believing it a disservice to Margaret, place any part of myself in this portrayal. Marie excitedly gushed at such an opportunity, exclaiming how fitting it was that I should be given this role. I remember for a few moments being silent, not oblivious to what was being said but a little shut-down with realization that a release of my bravado in relation to my feelings concerning my own health was required to move forward for art's sake-and quite certain, a higher purpose as well. With most relationships, I've placed a resilient and dismissive attitude before my pain because I wanted to be self-sufficient and never pitied. Perhaps Margaret felt that way, maybe she had to draw on God's strength as well...but that requires honestly, with God first and then with others. I'm certain that by her devotion to confession and prayer her relationship with God was an honest one; it certainly is revealed in the script.
I preceeded to do work on the script, rephrasing the words to reveal the emotion and motives and I very slightly nestled my body into the curvature that was in my spine when finally we got on foot. I allowed myself to really feel my hips, one side a bit higher than the other and I emphasized it. My back relived the memories of that painful adolescence. One fellow actor even commented on my great posture, I merely attributed it to a strict dance teacher.
One assistant director even commented on my beauty, something that never ceases to shock me for I admit to a distorted image of my physcial self which has always prompted me to the acceptance of loving myself and others apart from one's outward appearance. He asked, "How would you make yourself ugly?" I truly laughed for I believed that not only that I was already unattractive, mostly due to my vitaligo (which I noticed another member of our cast also has), but I was confident in my skill to conform my face significantly without make-up. Of course, like I had mentioned, I have until now kept my diseases to myself. I have hidden my disfigurements well with clothing, suntan lotion, and make-up for years. More than this, I thought, what does it matter? Isn't this the lesson of this production; To look beyond one's outer shell, be it concrete or psychological? It is my challenge as an actress to convey it through behavior and a challenge to myself to be free of "covering-up," much like one line in the play addresses.
Here goes nothing...and everything....