- Was the characterisation between my three different characters sufficient enough to distinguish between the three of them?
Erica who also helped direct the piece, watched both nights, whereas Gary only watched on the opening night. When asked the question above Gary said he thought I was one of the most strongest and consistent acts on both night. Here is what Gary put in his original feedback prior to this interview:
‘Josh throughout was consistently committed, truthful and strong. I loved the concept. Now you love it to and sell ALL of it!!’
I think I got feedback like this because I had done a lot of research to make it truthful. By using the techniques of Uta Hagen and Stanislavski, and also the constant rehearsals on character with Erica and Lynn helped me develop a truthful and strong performance and maintain it.
Erica also went on to say about how she had worked with me on developing the characters, so she has witnessed the difference between what where I had got the characters and where they were at the start of the rehearsal process. She thought the thing that had come along the furthest and as a result made the characters very distinctive were the accents. The cadence and tone of each character was completely different.
- What did I bring to the performance that made you believe my characters?
Erica said she believed my performance because I knew what I was doing, that I didn’t seem unsafe at any point. I think there were points on the first night especially where people seemed a little unsafe due to preparation. One thing I had managed to do was learn my show, which I talked about while evaluating the first full run on the Friday prior to the show. I think because I had made a crib sheet while running the show and then revised it, once we finally did the tech run in the theatre I knew what I was doing. However some people didn’t manage to learn there blocking prior to show week and used menus that were used as props to attach their crib sheets to.
I believe due to the masses of preparation I did reflected in Gary’s feedback, he thought I was composed, calm and confident. This meant every time I entered I would do so with purpose, which was probably the reason he felt relaxed any time I was on stage.
On the night Gary watched he laughed at one of my lines during the Sloane, monologue. I know I had full control of the situation and could handle a heckle from the audience because I had done lots of research into comedians. Not only did I research if comedians suffer from mental health issues, but I also looked at how they handle heckles and present themselves while on stage. Even though I had married the two ideas together, playing, Mr. Sloane and using material from ‘Entertaining Mr Sloane’ merged it with a stand-up comic. I didn’t necessarily think anyone would laugh, because I wasn’t playing a comic to be funny but to make the character look slightly more abnormal. However when Gary did laugh, I replied in character and carried on. This was all due to the research I did on Stand-ups, I was definitely in the moment on both night while doing the monologue.
- Did I interact with you before the show, were you engaged with my performance did you believe me and was my character sustained?
It’s hard to sustain the character when improvising, especially if you are playing a character with a strong accent, it’s one thing learning the lines in an accent and another making the responses up and sustaining the accent. This is something I struggled with when improvising as Hugo. Erica was deliberately testing me while improvising before the show and she got me to break. Which is a learn when it comes to any improvisation, (Yes, And), meaning you should always accept and build which is something Erica is constantly telling us before any improvisation session. But one thing I did get the audience to do was play along, as once I had left the ladies sitting with Erica asked her if I was the manager.
- Was my overall volume and clarity clear enough?
As I have done a lot of work in that space and other spaces that are much bigger this year, I think I am use to projecting in the theatre at college. I know what volume I need to talk at to be heard in that space, I think Gary agrees with this as hearing my lines was never a problem for him. It reflects in the work we have done with Lynn on voice over the past two years, I think most of us are at a stage now where we can adapt to a space and use our diaphragm properly.
- Was the pace of the show enough to keep you engaged?
Gary first night, suffered from nerves, lack of 100% belief, clever idea but often practically between things.
Erica first and second night, Josh kept really good pace with my lines but she thought I was unsupported, unstable. Second night not the case and we all came together as a company and supported each other!