My first venture onto the stage, discounting primary school nativity plays, came in the form of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale as the role of Cleomines, a servant to the king of Sicilia. Now as a dyslexic with no stage experience you’d be right in thinking that I was nervous about this undertaking. However this was the play that taught me some of the basics of acting on stage. Such as; “plant your feet” Shuffling is a something that we do without realising it when nervous; however as it has the potential to distract the audience it is best to get rid of this habit.
Secondly; how to project loud enough to be heard by all in the large open courtyard at Little Moreton Hall. It is easy to run out of air mid-sentence so planning where to pause and breath becomes a concern that normal conversation doesn’t require. Thankfully a Shakespearian text provides an abundance of commas, colons and semi colons that allow for an intake of breath.
And finally, as these lists seem to often present themselves in threes, I ignored the audience. Not to the extent that I’m blocking them but enough so that I wouldn’t be distracted by them. In fact concentrating on the other actors helped combat the inevitable stage butterflies that are only natural when over one-hundred people are staring at you.