Transitioning from stage to film (and vice versa)

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It has now been almost a year and a half since our incredible ou ng to see our faces on the big screen (perhaps too big) in the innova ve ghostly horror Locked In, and even longer since the last of its scenes was lmed. It remains one of the most exci ng moments ever, but how, you ask does it compare to the equally yet almost opposite moment of stepping out onto the stage in a play?
Locked In was one of the rst bits of on screen ac ng I ever did (previous endeavours being high school drama lms, a local charity music video, oh and that me I accidentally-on-purpose walked into shot of a news camera when I was 9). Since the beginning of year 7, when I was an extremely shy li le girl and drama classes enormously helped me in my ability to actually speak loudly enough so people can hear me, I have been ac ng on in plays and performing in front of a live audience. At rst this was just for academic purposes throughout my GCSEs and A Level courses, but joining a local theatre group provided me with the opportunity to be involved in very rewarding and professional produc ons by amateur drama c performers.
There is something wonderful about rehearsing for weeks and months for just a select few performances, shoo ng stars over in a ash. Swea ng backstage, trying to me the loo trip so you make sure you are in the wings on me for the next scene, making sure all of your costume is on, props are at hand, make sure you remember your lines, make sure you come on stage on cue, dic on..dic on..projec on… dic on..clarity…enuncia on..projec on, and most de nitely make sure you don’t come on stage holding nothing yet dis nctly poin ng to the object in your hand (never happened…ok it did once but I was supposed to be ac ng psy so its ok.)
However, on the rst day of lming Locked In, all of this went out the window. Suddenly there was a charming welsh man holding a mike above our heads so we could talk in normal human voices without aiming for the person in the back row to hear us. The makeup which is usually caked on and purposefully exaggerated was a subtle yet beau fully blended swoosh of gentle colours. Absolute silence is expected on set as even the slightest shu e of shoes will ruin the scene, let alone an accidental sneeze from ‘backstage or the audience’. Most important of all, the lifeline of the actors but perhaps to the annoyance of the crew: if we mess it up, we get another go! (…or 12). Although you’d think this would make every day of shoo ng feel like a rehearsal, there are only so many fun bloopers that can happen before everyone starts ge ng irritated and wants to get it all right in one take.
I almost never get to see a playback of any of the plays I’ve been in, photos are the way to go, and with the lm I got to see every awkward run and walk, every laugh and glance, every last detail of what the audience would see. I got to see my eyes so up close and so big on the cinema screen, I’m pre y sure you could count the eyelashes (thanks Dean). One thing both the screen and stage share are those wonderful moments of spontaneity or accidental improvisa on that aid in the improvement of the performance. Except it is a choice to keep it in the lm but on stage you’re stuck with it as your only way out of a pickle.
There is something equally exci ng about both ways of performing, and I cannot choose one to say is a be er experience as they both have their ups and downs, and I would certainly love to work in both mediums in the future.

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