Nous sommes tous des acteurs
Fresh out of Poland and other travels through Europe, I’ve come to an important realisation: it’s that everybody is an actor.
We are all actors.
Let me rephrase – we are all characters of our own design.
They say much of a person’s twenties is spent discovering and building one’s place and function in society. This comes with lots of trial and error: careers are made or radically altered, new momentum followed and secret passions pursued, existential crises developed and resolved.. I don’t think I’d be terribly out of place if I say that your twenties has as much potential for inconsequential debauchery as it does for the often undesirable meeting of responsibility and expectation (i.e. the dreaded maturity). This whole process, at whatever pace it is enforced, is essentially by design. Whether it is led consciously or by circumstance we make choices on a daily basis that manifest new realities to both our own character and the people around us, thereby gifting our present – the only thing we can truly give – to life itself. ‘All the world’s a stage’, Shakespeare once wrote, and I’ve only recently come to understand the true significance of this..
I’ll try my best to explain it. On November 25th, 2018 I found myself in an ordinary room in a not-so-ordinary warehouse theatre in Paris, France, aggressively scratching my head, sniffing for food trails and sporadically trying to lick my own arse while jumping around a group of strangers who, surprisingly quicker than expected, opened themselves up to engaging with me. Before they knew it, they started to pet me, let me lie in their laps and even played fetch with me. I was playing Ruff Ruff, a wicked, rancid dog set in a world inspired by the Brothers Grimm story Hansel and Gretel and also one of my creative contributions to the design and creation event ‘The Grimm Experience’, led by 40 international artists. For the duration of that specific (and physically quite exhaustive) performance it was beyond amazing for me to witness the audience overcoming their initial fear for me to drop their daily masks and in a suspended moment of disbelief let themselves play with me. As a dog. Even more notable were those who were actively sitting on their impulses to touch me, leading me to believe that actually – it wasn’t me acting in this scenario but them, upholding the preferred behavioural societal standard.
The whole show and devising process leading up to it has brought about wonderful bouts of creativity and lessons on utilisation of space, (and for me personally.. how to overcome the challenge of improvising for a French audience, with French co-stars, without actually mastering the language..).