Tuesday, February 7, 2017

No Small Parts: in Praise of Big Acting

It is challenging to cast a play. There are probably two larger roles (Romeo and Juliet), some supporting roles (Tybalt, Friar Laurence, Nurse), and some smaller roles and bit parts (Peter, Gregory, Sampson), and you are dealing with human beings who are hoping for a 'lead'. Sometimes, actors will equate their self-worth with the size of the roles that they are given. Sometimes, they will be upset that a director clearly did not see the talent that was before her, and they will be unhappy with  a 'bit part'.

 "There are no small parts - only small actors." Stanislavski knew that the roles were not small - but the acting in them sometimes caused the role to shrink. We like to pair his quote with this rule of thumb, "The smaller the role, the bigger you can be."

While we could not tolerate an entire play where Romeo was as exaggerated as Gregory or Sampson - played well, played BIG - those actors get noticed for the right reasons. They are fresh and different and they bring a different energy to the stage. They can be played as noteworthy.

Take a look at the young man in this video. He has a tiny teeny little role that he didn't even audition for. He has the same role as the other Celts fans, but they do not see their opportunity to play it big. He does.

People remember the performer who fully embraces his role.





1 comment:

Cindy Chappell said...

I couldn't agree more! I've been in plays where I've been on stage for a total of 10 minutes...but I had fun and learned so much from the others in the show that I would never have given up the opportunity. Bring your best to every part, whether large or small...it's all good!