I'm taking part in two further college plays this year: Julius Caesar in November and 42nd Street in March. Well here's my problem, the cast of the former is almost exclusively male, and that of the latter is mainly female, which will result in cross-gender casting. I'm wondering how I should go about playing a female character, should I be assigned one, in 42nd Street, and my friend Cate has asked me for advice in a similar vein for Julius Caesar (there being, I think, only 2 female parts). Does anyone have any advice?
-------------------- “In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.” Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006
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[i've played cross-gender more times than i can count, so hopefully i've learned something useful by now.]
my advice is to approach the character's gender like any other aspect of the character. yes, it may be foreign territory to you, but so is the rest of their life, right? don't get intimidated.
pay attention to the ways women around you move, particularly women of around the same age as your character. how is what they're doing different from what you do? bridge the gap. make sure you're really going from reality, not your preconceived ideas of womanish mannerisms. the audience will be able to tell those two apart immediately, i assure you. it's like the difference between a cartoon and a michelangelo.
spend as much time as you can trying to incorporate those movements. i find it helpful when i'm trying to prepare for any role, but especially one that demands such alterations to my physical notion of my own body, to pick times when i'm doing something completely *not* related to the play to work on the physical aspect of my character. i do things like walking from class to class or even just hanging around my room studying in my character's body. by doing these things, i get used to it, and i feel much less awkward on stage. if i'm playing a cross-gender role, i find that spending as much time as i can on the physical movements outside of rehearsal makes the gender aspect of my performance less superimposed. the ideal is to stop the audience from thinking about it, yes?
that's all i can think of for now.
Posts: 108 | From: caaaaanada. ('cause we've got rocks and trees and trees and rocks...) | Registered: Jan 2007
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