Lord of the Deep: Getting under the skin…

In any drama, be it ritual or otherwise, there is a fine line over which you must hover as an ‘actor’. You are not your character. Lines and scenarios that make you look amazing or, alternatively, portray you as evil, twisted or psychopathic, were not written for you at all; the words the writer puts in the character’s mouth belong to the character alone. The actions of the character are not yours. None of it is personal and you have to keep a mental and emotional distance from the role you portray. And yet…

In order for an actor to truly embody a role, he or she will give themselves over to it wholly. For the duration of the performance, they will see through their character’s eyes, speak with their voice and experience events through their emotions. That is what makes the difference between just acting and great acting. It comes down to believability, for both actor and audience.

Somewhere between the two is a place where the actor can observe both the role and the player. Because all human beings, at every end of the moral and emotional scale, share some characteristics, the observer will generally find moments where they can empathise with the character, motivations they understand, both good and not so good, points of commonality that, in spite of the ‘extremis’ of the events portrayed in drama, have the possibility of teaching them something about themselves. This is one of the reasons that we use drama in these weekends. As imaginative play allows children to ‘test-drive’ scenarios and reading fiction allows the mind to explore the impact of situations they would otherwise not encounter, so does drama allow us to explore our innermost selves.

On these workshop weekends, there are seldom any who have acting experience. Sometimes we get lucky. Some Companions have real talent… many do not know it until they try. But the ability to act is not a requirement and could, as Alethea wrote, even be an inhibiting factor rather than the reverse.

Nor do we have an audience… everyone joins in, script in hand, and everyone is in the same proverbial boat. Sometimes, if we are lucky, we may have a Seer who gets to watch most of what unfolds. Sometimes we have a Technician who takes care of the music and, apart from following the script for cues, they are as close to an audience as we get and may have a pretty good view. This year, my son offered to Tech for us and, if he had requested a blindfold for when I Danced the Seven Veils, he was going to be glad I’d packed his earplugs for the fourth ritual drama…

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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