Your Pocket Guide to De-Role


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In rehearsals

My process for getting out of character can vary - physically I like to 'move it out' -  jump, shake and breathe. I will spend time away from others or time with others depending on my needs each day. And listen to music on headphones! Music that speaks of you or a song you associate with your life and not the character's or the show.

Immediately following a performance

"You want what you do to be honest and truthful - but at the same time, you can't let it ruin you. When I played Fantine in Les Miserables, I felt lucky because I could actually use the fact that she died as a way of letting her go each night. I had the time to lie there on stage during the confrontation to make peace with her, and leave her on the stage when I walked off. With Elphaba in Wicked it was as simple as taking off the green make up - it was like taking her off." 

Reinforce the difference

I consider leaving the character part of my job. But leaving the stress and crippling insecurity of being an artist is something else entirely. The thing that helps me is to have something outside of the theatre that I am truly passionate about. Painting, writing, whatever. But a verb, not a noun. They're things outside of the theatre to 'do' not just like.

Notice your thoughts
Connect with ...
Your spaces
Your body
Your people
Your things
More than the show

I think the thing you need to do to 'step out of character' after a show is a bit of a post-show action plan. You need to give yourself something to look forward to afterwards. Whether that be a meal, a drink with a friend, a book, a TV series, supper with your lover, a workout - you need a bit of life post show to remind you what this life is all about. It is NEVER all about the show.

De-role in action
Reach out for help

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