It’s Christmas Eve, and Em and I are getting ready to head over to my sister’s for a party. The set for This Wonderful Life has been struck, and I am back in the office to answer some mail.
It’s hard to explain the effect This Wonderful Life had on me. It was kind of like telling one of my favorite stories to my best friends five nights a week for four weeks. Unlike many plays, I was able to look out into the house and see peoples faces. Connect with them on a level that most plays won’t allow. Usually, an actor builds a character and maintains focus through that character’s eyes for the entire play. We have terms for it like "living in the world of the play" or "living in the moment".
There is something very raw for me as an actor when I am myself on stage. I don’t have a different "world" to live in or focus on. It’s just me, and you. I love to jump from one character to another, trying to "live in their worlds" and create the personas that we all know from the movie, and in between, tell my friends in my own voice what happens next, or comment on what just happened. The amazing thing to me is when I look out, as myself, and a ten year old kid is looking me right in the eye, waiting to hear what will happen next, and two rows over, a woman in her seventies has that same look. We all become the same age in the theatre, living in the world of the play.
Thank you, everyone who came to the show. I feel as though we all shared something really wonderful together. Thanks for jumping into that world with me, leaving your own worlds behind, and going on the ride.