Learning to Laugh like a Pro

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Brandon Piper, one of the actors in OEDIPUS, has this to say about the process:

Who knew that working on a tragedy could be so funny? No, really. I think I have laughed more throughout this production process of OEDIPUS than for nearly any other show on which I have worked. However, it is not because we do not take this tragic story to heart, because there is no doubt that when I look Sandra Birch in the eyes at the end of the play each night we both are moved to tears. The laughter comes from an utter joy and passion that has served as the foundation of our work throughout the past five weeks. If I have taken nothing else away from this experience so far, I have realized that laughter is the key to maintaining the strong bond within an ensemble cast.

I admittedly entered this production a little nervous. As the youngest member of the cast, I am currently still in Graduate school and have not worked as an actor in an Equity theatre prior to OEDIPUS. I did not know what to expect. Would I feel ill-prepared? Would I be able to keep up? My fears were eased, of course, even after the first read-through as I felt not only a lack of judgment, but a sense of support and acceptance among the other actors. It felt like, in the corniest of ways, a community – a group of people working towards a common goal.

So where do all the funny moments fit into this sentimental nostalgia? They probably start somewhere between Sandy’s cross-eyed stare, Bart’s pants always riding too low, John’s search for “Alex”, me and Jamie’s distractions during “tapeball”, and my skinny jeans. But they have only grown from there to places far too embarrassing to recount publicly. Most importantly, I have learned that regardless of how serious work may be, or “dramatical” as Sandy may say, it is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more.

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