In "Single Bride", I am cast as "all the weirdoes". Now, before you say anything, I have already had my [highly beloved] fellow actors go through various comments such as "yes, fancy that" and "it will be such a stretch for her", so don't you even start.
Thing is, [rumour has it] I may actually be a bit weird myself, but being cast as half a dozen specific weirdoes is quite a challenge regardless. How to keep them all distinct? How, as in what manner, are they each weird in their own weird fashion? Are they, in fact, all weird at all? And wait, please remember they do not find themselves weird. None of us do [including yours truly]. How to be a weirdo who thinks themselves normal? [No, don't start with the "just do what comes naturally, Anna".]
Half a dozen different characters mean half a dozen costumes, half a dozen bodies, half a dozen walks, half a dozen reasons for being there - and in true method style, I cannot accept "because the director told me to" or "because the author wrote me so" as the reason. There is a within-the-reality-of-this-play reason for each appearance, and I need to tease it out, so as to better support the action and the fab stuff the others are doing onstage.
Supporting roles - be they weirdoes or straight men - are there precisely to support: the action, the main characters, the storyline. In this play, I approached it with the idea that my characters are there to heighten the comic effect of the scene they appear in. Picking this idea apart, I decided there were times when my character indeed was the weirdoâ€¦and then others when my character is there to pose the question "so who's the weirdo here". Once we are onstage, see if you can spot which is which.