Sometimes when I’m directing actors, either on stage, on set, in rehearsal, in a recording studio or simply during an intense fight choreography practice session, I find them lacking in energy. This is, frankly, unacceptable, because no one should EVER be out of energy.
“But Aubrey!” they whine, “We’re tired! We have adult things like taxes and lumpy mattresses bringing us down!”
And to them I say this: find your inner child! It’s true. I may not like children, and I like working with them even less, but there’s a lesson to be learned from their shrill and irritating behaviour. Often I’ve had actors observe children at their rowdiest, which is often at one of the many kids birthday party venues in Melbourne that I keep stumbling upon when I’m looking for a much more official function room to host my wealthy benefactors. Observe the children at play. See how they have no need to cast off their inhibitions, because they have none to begin with. Ponder the meaning of their boundless enthusiasm. Where does it come from? Where does it go?
Of course, in a polite conversation or professional setting, this type of behaviour is just awful. That’s why you never see children as CEOs of major companies. But on a stage, on a set, in a setting where you have to pour yourself into a character? It’s perhaps the greatest piece of acting advice I can give. Don’t worry about being someone. Be like the loud, rowdy children at their birthday party, and simply lose yourself in every moment. Don’t think…just feel. Or rather, think about the script (because I’d love you to get your lines right, Ashley) but not your part in it. These children don’t think. They simply do, and it’s as simple to them as breathing.
Oh, my advice is so wonderful! And now, the search resumes for a Melbourne function room, preferably one without streamers and flashing lights that children love, for whatever reason.