Monday, August 24, 2009

Jerri

Part of why I love this craft is the realization that I cannot fail in my efforts, nor can any other actor, because all that written characters ask is that we bring to the table what is unique to each of us, and that we make these characters our own. In joining the already solid cast of Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love nearly halfway through the rehearsal process, I was of course aware that not only was another actor previously playing the role of Jerri for this very production, but that she had undoubtedly built Jerri’s character around her own interpretation and understanding of her motivations...and it would now become my task to do the very same thing, hoping that I could “insert” my own version of Jerri amongst these other characters that were not only established in their own right, but were almost certainly used to interacting with a different version of Jerri than I had prepared.

Photo courtesy of Tara Pratt

Thankfully, I’d like to think this transition was made as seamlessly and joyfully as possible, and in no small part due to the fact that Sabrina allowed me to “fill out” Jerri in a way that was organic to me, and not as a replacement to the work that Aili had previously accomplished. I felt secure in the exploration of this character because my director and fellow cast mates had the grace to honour Aili’s work while simultaneously embracing my own contribution; the rehearsal process was not a competition nor an attempted replication...in essence, I do believe I have been fortunate enough to prepare for this role in my usual fashion, with great encouragement and support.

I wish Aili a healthy recovery, and I thank the cast and crew of this awesome production for welcoming me on board. Now let’s rock the casbah, guys.

~Tara Pratt
Jerri, "Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love"

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