On playing characters, in life & on stage

I feel deep gratitude that it is through Tom Radcliffe and his pupil, Simon Furness, that I learned many of the principles I live and work-by today.

Three years at drama school did nothing to improve the situation in fact I believe it made me worse. I was pushed directly and indirectly towards the creation of an acting persona, which masked the awful mess I felt myself to be. This divided me even further from the innocent creative child who was the true force of my creative impulses. I was expected to create a thing called a character on top of this shaky pile of pretence. No wonder that acting became increasingly stressful and dishonest. There was the odd occasion when miraculously the awful self-consciousness would collapse and the acting would effortlessly emerge but these moments were few and far between.
…As Sandy said, “You can’t create a character on top off a character…There is no such thing as a character.” By this he means we cannot become Hamlet or Ophelia but we can do what they do thereby creating the illusion of character in the mind of the audience.
~ Tom Radcliffe

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