How did your role emerge and how was it communicated
In my performance I played two characters, Voice one and Daughter one. Both were very different in their movements and characteristics. For voice one, I had to imagine what I would make up in my head to show that I was mentally unstable. I wanted my character to see out of place and unhelpful, but at the same time seem eerie and make the audience feel uncomfortable whenever the character was in the scene. For the daughter I had to start off by acting innocent because I had to be the perfect daughter, however by my main scene, in which I kill a baby, I had to become agitated, angry and frustrated.
At first I felt very self conscious about doing something like this because I’m not very comfortable with screaming. However I slowly developed the confidence to do this and when we did our first technical I was finally able to scream. However after my scene I had to get very distressed at the death of my baby, this was a lot easier than anything else I had done because I just had to stutter and scrunch my face up so that I looked scared and confused. I make sure that my characters were relevant and were correct for the role I had to do some research into how I thought my characters should act.
So I researched people who have schizophrenia. This was so I could know how to seem when I had the two voices come out of the shadows in my scene and tell me to kill my child. The research I came up with told me to seem edgy but then get slightly used to the fact that the other characters are there, which would show the audience that this is not the first time my character would have seen the two voices and so my character would have been mentally ill for some time now. We wanted the audience to feel uncomfortable and uneasy when watching our play and so my group decided to use some of Anton Artaud’s theories.
In our third week of rehearsing we started to talk about the use of voices and how we would like the audience to feel uncomfortable with the voices and we thought we should use Artaud. This is because his theories are all about trying to make the audience feel uncomfortable and so we thought we could use this to our advantage, so the audience would feel uncomfortable in watching our play. We also wanted to use his theories in our torture scene, because of his concept in ‘theatre of cruelty’.
We wanted the scene to lack morality and reason, and so we didn’t emphasise a reason behind the torture scene, which should have made the audience feel more uncomfortable because there is no reason that Kingsley has decided to torture this woman. I had to figure out the characterisations of my characters so i could find out how I could develop them and make them better. For my character as voice one I decided that the voice must be very patronising because they are trying to influence the person and get them to do whatever they want.
They must also have a violent personality and be filled with hatred, this is to show how they really feel towards the character. A white mask to show they have no face and are so imaginary. However there is no background for the voice because it is a figment of the characters imagination. However the daughter’s characterisation was a bit more complicated. She is a common girl and so taboo is used such as ‘you fucking thing’. This shows she is not from a posh family. Her background is that she was with her boyfriend for two weeks before she lept with him and she thought she was in love.
However she then fell pregnant and the boyfriend didn’t want to be a father and so he left. As she was poor she couldn’t pay for an abortion and so she carried out the pregnancy and she used her child to get her a council flat. She never loved the child though as it had cost her the only man she ever loved. The rehearsal process changed my character’s alot. It was after 3 weeks when we introduced the voices. We used them in our third scene when Gabrielle’s husband left her as she couldn’t have children.
At first we had them just walking out, no mask and walking towards her with their hands behind their backs. After talking to Gabby the voices were made to walk towards the audience and smile and then the scene ended. We kept it like this for another week until we showed it to our teachers. They all agreed that you couldn’t tell who our characters were until we finally said it in the scene. So we decided to introduce masks so that’s the audience were aware we were changing characters. After another week we showed our teachers once again and they thought that mine and Ashley’s movements needed to be quirkier and sharper.
And so me and Ashley started to change our positions more frequently, from standing up to sitting on the floor or the stage with Paris. Finally at our technical our teachers told us to make our movements even sharper and so me and Ashley moved around faster and made sure we were never in the same place for too long. My character as daughter one was really introduced till halfway through week 4, this was because of our group running late on time. The first scene I’m in as daughter was the ‘perfect family scene’ where I was sat still while Paris spoke about her perfect family.
However when we finally got to my character I was very conscious of the fact that I had to scream. In our rehearsals I only ever said my words and I never actually screamed them. Most of my scene was walking around until the voices came out. However when it came to our first technical I had to scream, however the teachers told me I needed to look more natural when I screamed because I still looked very conscious. So I had to work on looking natural which was hard because I still felt uncomfortable with screaming.
On our first performance I felt that my scene went well, however I was speaking really quickly and so I needed to calm my nerves. On the day of our final performance, my teacher told me that I should walk in carrying the baby instead of having it in the cot at the beginning of the scene, and this may help he with my confidence. So I walked out with the baby in my arms and I found that it was much easy to scream afterwards because I had to build up my anger instead of just letting it out. This helped my performance enormously.