My Artistic Statement
I am young, I know. I am an actor and a director, I know that too. So that makes me a young actor and director. That makes me special and valuable, and also means I have so much more to learn. I have the opportunity and responsibility to shape, contribute to, and change the arts to come. And to me, that is incredibly exciting.
I believe theatre is inherently political. There is no way to tackle a piece without running into politics. As a director, I have the responsibility to shape pieces with a point of view that informs audiences one way or another. And as an actor, I have the responsibility of portraying opinions and beliefs that reflect and inform a story. We have so much to learn from reading and watching theatre, about cultures, religions, political structures, class systems, countries, states, regions, and so many more aspects of human life. Theatre looks at humans with a magniscope and finds the minute details and puts them on display to those who will watch, and that is so freaking cool.
I believe theatre is innately human, created for and by humans. I believe it brings people together. I mean seriously, how many pastimes force people to sit in a room together, sometimes a very small room for two and a half hours, and watch other live humans tell a story or sing or dance. How amazing is that? We as artists have the ability to unite people who may not look twice at each other on the streets. I get to provoke audiences to ask questions and ponder the stories in front of them. Theatre creates conversation and dares people to think outside of the box and travel for a few hours to other countries, make believe islands. It asks them to picture flying people or animals, singing cats, and even talking fish! Theatre is bizarre when we break it down, but beautifully bizarre at that, and that is what I find so fascinating.
Theatre is childlike. It asks us as artistic people to set aside our day to day worries and “dramas” to be present in a room with those like us and play make believe and create and live in stories, just like children. It asks us to step into the shoes of other people, cultures, and genders. It asks us to be uncomfortable and open. My theatre should never be complacent. It is never comfortable. I ask artists, audiences, and myself to step out of the comfort zones of our minds and sometimes bodies to discover new views of life, new cultures, and new ideas. I believe in never settling. The world is constantly changing and we as artists have the responsibility to keep up.
I am influenced by cultures and, frankly, people watching. I learn from watching those around me, from watching the idiosyncrasies of movement and human to human interactions. There is so much information in the movement of hands, and as an artist I look at theatre with a detailed eye and I never settle. Settling is when art gets boring, it is when we hear the snores from audience members. Theatre should never be subpar. It must be better than that. It has the responsibility to be better than that. I have the responsibility to be better than that. It is easy to spot when an artist just settles, we call it bad theatre. But bad theatre influences me to be better. It is just as important as good theatre. I want my art to excite, anger, intrigue, push, poke, prod, coddle, and caress audiences. I want my theatre to provide the notion of juxtaposition. To play with audiences and opposing viewpoints.
As an actor I want to PLAY! Let’s play. Why not? I want to play and discover with other creatives. My London education has instilled in me the notion to be daring and make bold choices. I love to fail. Without failure there is no growth, and what is the point in pursuing this art without growth? Failure and growth coexist hand in hand, and I choose to stand in the middle and hold both of their hands.