I’m Jack. A 22-year-old actor from London with Cystic Fibrosis, who has started his career amongst a global pandemic. Good timing Jack. Since graduating Drama St Mary’s in 2019 with a degree in Physical Theatre, I have begun working with Theatre Nation/ David Glass Ensemble on Waiting for Godot. I’m playing The Boy which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. I have also just finished shooting Requiem, a film by Michelle Brøndum. As well as working with Barrell Organ Theatre company on the Tess Young Company. It has been a journey!
For me acting is all about spontaneity and vulnerability. When somebody goes to the Theatre and they see something truly brilliant, they never leave and say, “my god that was correct”. But maybe they will leave say “I loved it when the actor tripped, or stumbled, or stuttered”. I think we relate to genuine spontaneous moments of impulse on stage. Not over thought or pre-planned, just genuine kinaesthetic response and people present on stage.
Misbehave. Be curious. Play the problem don’t solve the problem. Observe and be inspired by the madness of life. See don’t just look. Listen don’t just hear. Play the serious stuff and be serious about the playful stuff. Lower your judgement so you are unafraid to make a mess. Fail. Fail better. Accept struggle. Accept mess. Focus on what ‘theatre could be’ not ‘what it should be’. Dignity as an actor is to dignify your character - no matter how different they are from you - and your story - no matter how strange and unlike your story it is- When your onstage commit to the moment as though you were a five years old again. Don’t tell the story what to do. Let the story tell you. Don’t confuse a choice with a judgement. Do not aim to impress. Aim to move. Fill yourself with Elan. Good contact. Good suspension. Good energy. And Pleasure. Pleasure. Pleasure.
That’s all there is to it, I think.
Barrel Organ and English Touring Theatre are making an adaptation of the classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, due to tour nationally in 2021/22, and we are working with 15 young people from across the UK to make it happen. Meet more of the Tess Young Company here.