The Things Actors Do...

The Things Actors Do...

A Glimpse Into The Trials Actors Face To Tell A Story
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Some of life's biggest moments are portrayed onstage from birth to death. For the average person, the idea of a make out session with someone you've just met in front of a large group of strangers seems really daunting, but for an actor, it's all in a day's work. These onstage experiences are something we actors often forget are not a part of a non-actor's life. As an actor, I often find myself pushing the boundaries of normal behavior because my embarrassment threshold is very low when it comes to being the center of attention.

For example, I am currently in a directing class intended for English majors who may need to run theatre programs for youth when they become teachers. In the class, some of us serve as directors while the rest make up the actors, which of course rotates per exercise. Since we are performing about one-minute scenes, not very many crazy out there things can happen, but I was surprised to find some fellow students timid to read lines from the script with the intended emotion.

For many of them, this is their first real theatre class, so of course, shyness is expected, but after spending two years in the theatre department, I forgot that not everyone is as comfortable as us with getting up there and baring our heart to the world.our heart to the world.baring our heart to the world.

While directing my classmates in scenes, I've found that opening them up to becoming comfortable while performing is a much larger part of the process than it is during my other acting classes, and it got me thinking about all the crazy things I've done and seen done onstage that most actors don't think twice about.

Beginning with kissing, I've personally kissed seven different people for onstage purposes, including some that were just for a scene in class, or during an understudy run. But they're all fake, you say! No, actually. I've only done a staged kiss with one of those seven people, because, on the whole, most actors, in my experience, prefer a real kiss because it looks more authentic and helps to establish the relationship in a more realistic way.

Is it awkward? Of course, it is the first few times! Especially if you're an understudy and you have to just go for it because it's your one shot at practice! But kissing is simple compared to some other things we are asked to do.

Marriage is another common occurrence in theatre. Everything is there from the dress to the witnesses to the ceremony itself. It kinda takes the magic out of waiting for your special day when you get "married" five times a week for nine weeks. And along with marriage comes children and that manifests itself in many forms onstage from pregnancy tests to labor.

Currently in "American Idiot," my character faces an unexpected pregnancy from the moment she finds out and has to tell her boyfriend, through the baby bump, all the way to carrying around two separate baby dolls around stage who are just as much my scene partners as my fellow actors. I have played characters who have had babies before, but this show marks my first time wearing a baby bump, and to be honest, it took some getting used to, but as with everything in theatre, your character overwhelms your own feelings and you become one with how your character feels about their situation.

On the topic of children, sex is another big moment shown on stage. With every passing year, more and more shows show nudity, stripping, and sex onstage, for example, "Heathers the Musical" where two characters have sex while singing a song and two other characters also strip onstage in the hopes of getting lucky themselves.

Which finally brings me to one of the most questionable onstage actions, rape. I have personally auditioned for a show where I had to say whether I was comfortable performing in a simulated rape onstage.

I wasn't in the show, but watching that scene was not easy. And it brings me to the ethical question of what you personally are comfortable with doing onstage from cussing to simulating rape. How far are you willing to go to tell the story?

At the end of the day, reflecting on all of the crazy things I've seen and done onstage it seems bizarre that people pay to watch actors live some of life's most personal moments. But I can't imagine my life any different because, at the end of the day, I love what I do, and what I do to tell my characters' story to the audience.

Cover Image Credit: James Ramirez

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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There is nothing wrong with enjoying a life from the comfort of your own home

Living simply is okay, too.

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Now, more than ever, it seems like my Facebook and Instagram feed are filled with pictures of people studying abroad. A normal day for a college student studying abroad is filled with strolling down the streets of Italy or marveling at the lit up Eiffel Tower. For me, I am perfectly content not studying abroad, and studying in the place that I call home: Charleston, South Carolina.

I am a homebody and I love being close to friends and family and enjoying my simple life without having to fly thousands of miles across the country. I am in no way looking down on anyone that has studied abroad, but for me, staying home is the path I chose to take. It is a path of simplicity and comfortability — one in which I have found my true self.

I have learned in the past few years, I love living quite simply. A day spent outside reading or a night spent grilling out beats a night spent at a bar or club downtown. Of course, I like to spend these simple days with my closest friends and family. Spending my days with the people I love is what makes my life so special. I do not need to have a million dollar view or a trip across the country to realize that my life is filled with the things that I love. It is the simple things that matter to me in life because in the end no amount of money or material things will matter. Yes, I love hearing stories and seeing pictures of the adventures many people take, but to me, nothing beats a night at home living simply with the people I love.

Life is not about the places we visit or the money we spend, rather it is about the memories we make doing the stuff that we love. If you love traveling the world, power to you! Go out and enjoy your adventure. For me, I will enjoy this life I was given making memories at my home with the people I love.

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Pexels

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