By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Things I do for art

Hello again!

Today, after returning to rehearsals after a delicious 3 week Christmas break, I was struck by something. No, not a cricket ball (am avoiding the ashes with all my strength). It was the fact that actors do really mental things as part of their job. I myself have done so many ridiculous things in the name of acting that I could be locked up.


I have;

  • Pretended to be a monkey for hours.
  • Pretended to be a lion, then got assaulted in a positively indecent manner by someone else pretending to be a lion.
  • Gone to a pub in character as someone with a speech impediment, huge glasses and a fascination with sun cream and actually had a conversation with the staff.
  • Gone into the same pub as a south London burlesque dancer just weeks later and got very funny looks from the same staff.
  • Gone to pineapple studios as above to do a salsa class (n.b. burlesque dancers are overflowing with elegance and grace, I am most definitely not).
  • Had someone pretend to shave me with whipped cream, as I shouted through a megaphone whilst on a ladder.
  • Dressed as a clown and chewed on an audience members knees (reduced him to tears, and no, he wasn't a child, he was in his mid twenties)
  • Pretended to do a poo on stage with the aid of a pipette, nutella, toothpaste and wood shavings (don't ask)
  • etc..
My most recent craziness is for my final film for my MA in Acting for Screen, which will be a thriller about organ donation. I play a surgeon who collects organs from murder victims and then ends up sacrificing herself for a potential victim's freedom. Which is pretty juicy as roles go! However, it does involve two things. A) Taking up running and B) Cutting up an actual heart. Now, as far as A) is concerned, I can no longer use a smoking habit for my utter crap fitness levels. But I do run like a goose that's been fed a litre of Morgan's Spiced and is attempting the mashed potato dance. And B) I am a vegetarian. Not for moral reasons, but because I have this tendency to puke around raw meat (discovered in a spanish supermarket years ago. Mum still does impressions of me trying to run and keep vomit in at the same time. It's a family favourite.) The thing is, I'm actually really excited to be able to do something gory and messy, I like being messy and I'm obsessed with horror! I suppose only time will tell. However, Mum has banned me from doing it in her house. Because of the whole vomit thing. Wonder how boyfriend's parents would react if I turned up with a heart in a box? They might take it as some weird expression of my love for their son, which would probably go down quite badly when I got out an anatomy book and a bloody big knife and started hacking at it and vomiting like the girl from The Exorcist. Maybe it's an experiment to do at school.... 

It does make me wonder where it all ends. How far will I go to fully 'feel' the character? If I have to kill someone in a film will I take up hunting? (In my head this entails me wearing a really cute red coat and having a few beagle dogs around but I have a nasty suspicion it might be a bit messier than that.) Oh well. The fact of the matter is I love love love method acting, even though it makes me do ridiculous things. Mainly because it makes me do ridiculous things actually. Where else would a veggie get to have a go at being a butcher?!

Bye for now blog readers!

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