Guys! Guess what?! I am doing something new, and a little scary. I am breaking the type cast.
What is a type cast? Well, it is the association of certain kinds of characters with specific types of people. For instance, sidekicks are usually short and round, while princesses are 90 pounds and 5'5''. Our culture has developed a mentality that certain body types work with specific characteristics.
In my own acting debuts, I have "found" my type cast. I play the loving mothers, crazy aunts, or hilarious sidekicks. I can play those roles really well and it is great! However, I became so focused on the roles that I play that it became a constrictive box that I placed myself in. I began to envision myself as my type cast in real life. I was just a secondary character in other people's stories. I would always play the best friend in my everyday life, and I would never be the princess because my body size and shape didn't fit. I had become stagnant in who I thought I was as an individual and I became complacent in imagining myself as anything other than the comedic matriarch.
Well, I got cast in the opera as the female lead. Griletta is a character who is the opposite of my normal roles. She is flirty, very feminine, attractive, and gets the man in the end.
I have personally struggled so much with this role. I have defeated myself mentally, telling myself that I was not adequate, pretty, or thin enough to play this part. There was no way that the audience was going to take this character seriously because I was playing her. Who would imagine that a curvy girl like me would get the man in the end? That is just not how storytelling is done. I convinced myself that the director had made the wrong choice in casting me in this role.
Guys, I love theatre with all my heart. Yet, one of the downfalls of being an actress is that the characters that you play have the ability to mold your self-image if you allow it. I knew that danger, I think, but I definitely didn’t realize how skewed my perception of myself had become.
I am nervous about the opera performances this weekend. I am anxious about how I will be perceived in this role that is way out of my comfort zone. I am worried that the character I play will not be able to be received because it is I who is bringing her to life. But this fear is invalid, because it is not my job to make the audience like me. It is my job to remain true to the story and let God take care of the rest. I need to let go of my wrong perception of myself and just be on stage.
I am honestly very excited to be bringing this story to life! It is full of comedy, romance, and a whole lot of impressive singing! It has been a personal journey for me, and I am glad for it to finally come to a wonderful finish on the Rudd stage! I hope all of you come if you can!
Your humble thespian,