Saturday, November 30, 2013

Playing Sally Bowles

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One of the biggest perks of being in theatre is that I get to pretend to be someone else on a regular basis, and it's considered completely acceptable! I get to do things that I would never do in real life without being judged. I get to dress up and do ridiculous makeup. Before our first dress rehearsal, when I was getting into costume for the first time, I had a serious moment when I put my wig on. Being in full makeup, it was a transformation. I was no longer Emma Clark. I was Sally Bowles. Believe it or not, it's incredibly freeing.

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Playing Sally Bowles in "Cabaret" was no different. She is a totally different person than myself. For one thing, she's English. She sells her body in a night club, drinks constantly, does drugs, and flits through life, not caring how her actions affects her long-term. She lives by the seat of her pants and consciously pays no attention to the world around her. Needless to say, I'm not much like her.

Or so I thought...

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What was so amazing about this role was even though we are clearly so different, I was still able to find things we have in common. The fact is that, even though she's an awful person, she's still human. There were still levels on which I understand her and connect to her. Even though she's brash and unrefined on the outside, she's still vulnerable, feminine and emotional. Finding that common ground between us is really what enabled me to dig so deep into her character. Getting that connected is what ultimately gave me the ability to immerse myself deep enough to feel her pain myself. There were a few nights where it would hit me so hard that I would cry on stage. It was a beautiful, fulfilling feeling to be so utterly connected to her, this person that I thought I would never completely understand.

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Playing Sally taught me so much. I grew as a performer and learned that I can push my limits and challenge my boundaries. In fact, I have no boundaries! The experience once again confirmed what I have known for so much of my life: I love being an actress. It is my passion, and I would never be as happy doing anything else.

Not to mention, I absolutely loved wearing that wig ;)

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