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Acting

Performance Energy

Let’s talk about magic. The type that swirls around us human folk without us even knowing, without us even trying. The kind of magic I’m talking about is the kind that arises from our natural human energies and the way those energies interact with those around us.

Many years ago— before I became someone’s wife and someone’s Mummy—my thing was acting. There were so many aspects to treading the boards that I loved. Embodying a character essentially gave me permission to do a whole bunch of fun things the real me would never get away with in real life. I mean. How’s that for awesome?

Those years were some of the most wonderful of my life, where I got to unleash my creative essence on the world and have a whole lot of fun along the way. Every show was different. Every character I played: different, each with their own unique personality trying to make its way into the world, through me.

One thing was always the same, though. The backstage buzz. The energy. Every night before the curtains parted, the cast and crew would stand in the wings with wide eyes and vibrating hair—visible signs of the excited, nervous energy that lived within and around us.

This energy was always there, and it was unmistakable. And though none of us could put our finger on how it was made, or where it came from within our bodies, there would not be an actor out there who could deny its magic. To this day I’m in awe of its power, and the potential it always poured into the performance to come.

But even though the energy of stage actors themselves is otherworldly and brilliant, perhaps the most baffling and awe-inspiring energy transfer is that between the audience and the actors. More specifically, how the energy of the audience, as a collective, influences the energy of the performance.

A ‘good’ or ‘bad’ audience can change a show entirely. A ‘good’ audience has the ability to lift a performance. A ‘bad’ audience has the ability to kill it. Human energy, cause and effect. Life transferred from one group to another, each affecting the other in ways the rational mind can’t even come close to understanding.

So. For those actors, musicians, live performers out there who might be wondering…you’re not alone if you’ve felt it. I’ve felt it, and many performers I know have felt it, too.

As for those of us who are, at one time or another, members of an audience—look around. Are people smiling as the show goes on? Or are they just a bit ho-hum about the whole shebang? Because If they’re a bit ho-hum…chances are the actors are backstage, wondering where all the laughs have gone and disappointed not to have the chance to feed off the positive energy of a ‘good’ audience.

My advice to any theatre, dance, or live music lovers out there would be this: if you’re unlucky enough to see a show on a ‘bad’ audience night…go see it again. I can guarantee you, it will be a different show next time around. A better one. And all thanks to that mysterious universal thing: human energy. Magic. Don’t you think?

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The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 1. Mister Darling Brown Eyes

Mister darling brown eyes is not the darling of this post.

He is not my husband. He is not my Son. He is not even someone I love or have ever loved.

But.

He is where all this started—this Darling Blog of May, and so must his story be told.

Now. Where was I? Ah, yes. Mister darling brown eyes.

And that fateful night, so many years ago…

***

It was the end of a very fruitful twelve weeks of acting class and a bunch of us—serious actors in the making— spilled out of the classroom for the final time. We were huddled against the Melbourne cold, stomping along the grey of it all, searching for a place to warm our fingers, a place to hold us while goodbye sank into our aching bones.

So. To the pub it was, then.

We were a mixed bunch. Some of us bright-eyed and fresh-faced (me, nineteen then), others weathered and creased—courtesy, no doubt, of years of face pulling under hot, stage lighting.

Then there was him. Mister darling brown eyes. And mister darling brown eyes…well. He was all the lollypops and rainbows. He was leather jacket and jeans. He was hair like ribbons of dark chocolate fudge.

And he-was-eyes.

Eyes so deep they saw right into the guts of whoever they chose. And right now, thanks to the two of us being shoulder to shoulder, those brown eyes chose me.

YES.

Anyway.

Mister darling brown eyes. The cosy little corner. The euphoric moment mister darling brown eyes took my quivering hands and declared his undying love for me.

(Cough. No. That’s not what happened.)

In actual fact, mister darling brown eyes gushed about his girlfriend— who was adorable, apparently—and I nodded, smiled and talked about my family, the weather, ice-cream, fluffy ducks. It was, of course, only a matter of time before the topic of conversation turned to something…serious.

How serious?

Shakespeare serious.

Are you fan?’ he said.

‘Not so much,’ I said.

And all the crickets sang. And all the angels wept.

‘Never mind,’ said mister darling brown eyes. ‘I can fix that. I’ll recite you a sonnet.’

He went on to explain that Shakespeare is best heard, not read. Shakespeare is rhythm; Shakespeare is dreamy, lilting, song. Mister darling brown eyes lowered his face and smiled, dared me not to be moved by this sonnet of his, dared me not to be changed.

I nodded. (Okay. I may have tilted my head and sighed a little, I can’t be certain.)

‘Go on,I whispered. And I leaned back in my seat and proceeded to fall in love with love.

Not with mister darling brown eyes, no.

With love.

With Shakespeare, sonnet number 18, to be exact.

So, no. Mister darling brown eyes never did become my husband (which is lucky because I needed that title to give to my gorgeous hubby, Dave.)

 Still.

Mister darling brown eyes was a gift to me because, without him, I may never have heard about those rough winds that shook Shakespeare’s darling buds of May.

And this, my Darling Blog of May, would be nothing but thirty-one days of blank pages.

Now, where would the darling be in that?

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The darling blog of May

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The Darling Blog Of May

One day to Go!

There’s one day to go

’til this blog post a day-ness.

This darling of May; yes!

A darling a day; bless.

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Don’t ask me to tell

’cause it’s all a surprise; oh!

What will darling be? No!

Stop trying to guess, yo!

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It could be a post

’bout a cake or a pie; why?

I don’t really know; sigh.

Just trust me! (Please, don’t cry.)

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A darling of whim

’twill most probably be; see?

For how many days; three?

No! Thirty-one; yippee!

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See you tomorrow for darling day one!

I can’t wait. xx Brooke

 

The darling blog of May