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Student Blog: Preparing the Part

How do you step into a role?

Student Blog: Preparing the Part

I just finished my one month break off from college before heading back to work on a new play. I decided to take advantage of that time off, and prepare to step into my new role before the rehearsal process begins. As I've worked on more and more characters from 'originated' to classics, I've developed ways to work before I even walk into the room.

So you've just been cast and you are waiting on a copy of the script. There are so many things you can accomplish before even exploring your character. I like to spend time organizing my life and completing any upcoming tasks. Rehearsals can take up a great deal of time in a college schedule, so it is important to try to work ahead. The less stress that I have during a process, the better I can focus.

Once I have a script I like to read it several times. I do a general read-through highlighting my lines and stage directions before taking a deeper dive into the text. I have found it helpful to read the script from different perspectives and scan the lines or scenes that only a specific character is in. As I sit with the material, I like to read through the script over a long period of time so that I can discover new symbols and choices. Sometimes I enjoy sketching pictures of how I see my character, costume pieces, or settings of the piece.

I use music as a way to connect with my character. I will take the time before the process starts to make a playlist for my character. It usually consists of songs that the character would like and what music reminds me of them. Listening to this playlist can be a great way to get into character before rehearsal. These playlists serve as a sort of time capsule to my different rehearsal processes as I add to and become familiar with them.

The actor's preparatory work is a testament to their discipline and professionalism. There is so much growth that happens during the process but I believe that it is important to start with a strong foundation. Confidence in the beginning allows for great discoveries throughout the process. I urge you to find what works to help you meet your new character, and commit to a discipline within the process for the most meaningful experience.

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Grace Cutler