One of the greatest things I’ve ever heard said of theatre was an offhand remark by a brilliant director in my local theatre group. We were comparing tales of onstage woes and she bubbled with excitement, “Don’t you just love this about theatre? It’s so dangerous!” Though her intention was humorous, I had to concede that the danger was probably the biggest pull. When you’re acting on stage, there’s a special kind of adrenaline coursing through your veins that’s hard to match; equal parts pressure and ego.
Though the danger of struggling to contain your laughter or stumbling over the words or (God forbid) nip slips are understandably horrifying, when you’re involved in community theatre it’s not the only threat that moves you. There’s the added anxiety of garnering a group of individuals to pay to watch you possibly, accidentally, hopefully not do those things. And unfortunately, outside of performance circles, it’s a circumstance almost exclusive to an older audience.
There are a huge number of people around Sydney pouring their time and energy into beautiful productions in the hope that a bunch of people will come and see it. So while I feel magnificently enthralled by the world of stage art, I also have a duty to fervently advocate for appreciation amongst my generation. There’s this desperate concern to ensure that a whole range of people are watching and talking and creating so theatre doesn’t remain at the top of a dusty, selective shelf.
The good news is that I know it’s not hard to fall in love. Theatre is so damned inclusive it becomes almost suffocating and once you’ve experienced the kind of interaction that human beings are capable of, anything else is just lonesome. The stigma almost immediately falls away and the risk pays off. Be that as an actor, crewmember or audience member.
So I hope by bringing you my passion each week and talking about the magnificent stuff that’s in your reach, you’ll be convinced to take part in the danger as well.