Since I got back from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019, where I had been performing my debut solo show 'Tiger's Don't Cry', I've had an itch for acting and it's 100% down to a one-man show I stumbled across whilst there called 'In Loyal Company' (an incredible true story of missing WW2 soldier and prisoner of war) written and performed by David William Bryan. For an hour I sat in total darkness mesmerised by his performance, the force of which his storytelling pulled your imagination into his character's world was like nothing I'd seen before. I came away from that show knowing two things, one: I'm going to do a one-man theatre show and two: the difference between comedy crowds and theatre crowds are the levels of cashmere an audience wear (I'll let you guess which one I'm talking about).
Back in October I joined 'Act Up North' - a drama school in Manchester - and have been attending weekly to brush up my acting skills. I'd done drips and drabs in the past with characters such as 'Howard', a character that I'd created for a web series (video below), but my last performance in a theatre production was as a bouncer in year 11 for GCSE drama. After seeing William-Bryan strut his stuff at the fringe, I knew I had some work to do. Being a comedian on stage now comes naturally but what I've learnt through 'Act Up North' is that the skillset and muscles used are different when you're delivering a line in a scene compared to a joke. Silence is a comedian's worst enemy. It can swallow you up whole and spit you back out, as all comics know. I've been there myself, told jokes in candlelit comedy clubs that have died that bad, candles have gone out. But when you're acting, silence can be powerful. It opens that window for the audience to think, feel and wonder.
Now three months on from my first acting class, I'm beginning to feel the difference and it's great to know that I've taken a few steps towards the goal of performing a one-man theatre show (obviously I have some work to do before I'm at the level of William-Bryan and his Swiss army knife of talent but the learning process has been brilliant). Going into 2020, I've set a few goals in relation to acting and am getting stuck into achieving them. I've begun working on a number of productions which will be released through the year. Thanks to the incredible impact of a one-man show, William-Bryan made me want to give it a go in the future and who knows, maybe I too can have a standing ovation from a crowd that is 90% cashmere.
Take it easy,