Friday, January 17, 2014

Across the Big Pond, in the Big Theatre

Say hello to Darius Pierce (virgin actor) and Emma Bamford (veteran actor).

Emma Bamford and Darius Pierce
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Darius joins 14/48 from Portland, and Emma is a veteran of 14/48 festival held in Leicester, England. These two out-of-towners are the cast of the only two-hander show, Jennifer Jasper's Etymology directed by virgin director John Langs.

Here is a mini-interview as Emma had her lunch.

AK: What is the biggest difference between 14/48 in UK and here?
Emma: There are a lot more strange accents here.
AK: Please elaborate.
Emma: There are too many varied accents that I feel bombarded by. I can't tell where someone is from by just listening to them.
AK: What else?
Emma: Everything here is bigger. More people, bigger space, bigger theatre. Plus we didn't have food provided in Licester. That's great!
AK: What is one thing you enjoyed about 14/48 in England, that is missing here?
Emma: I knew more people there. So that was nice. I feel more like an outsider here.
AK: Par for the coarse wouldn't you say?
Emma: Yes of course. And it's not bad... but it is different.
AK: What's the one thing here that you like (other than food and more space) that you missed in UK?
Emma: Our director - he's so fantastic!

Who? John Langs? He's a virgin! He couldn't possibly know what he's doing! (I kid of course).

So I decided to seek out Mr. Langs and talk to him.

AK: How's the virgin experience coming along?
John: Its's great! I have a great cast and I'm enjoying the play.
AK: How's life in general?
Virgin director John Langs
Photo: Agastya Kohli

John: Good. Busy. We have to learn to pace ourselves you know? Like this job - there is so much exciting work that I'm doing at ACT these days. But there are times when after a whole day of work, you realize that you've not done anything to grow as an artist. For example, marketing - it's so exciting. I've never done any marketing. So I get sucked towards things like that. But if you're not looking at the core, and just the wrapper... you have to be careful.
AK: How's 14/48 different?
John: In so many ways. It distills what we do as artists into one day, and allows you to focus on the 'periscope down' stuff. Because it doesn't matter how pretty you can make your presentation... if you're not present and connected with the heart of it, what's the point? This experience is really about the heart of the play, as you don't have time for distractions.

Thanks John and Emma!

Disclaimer - I wasn't recording the conversations... so the above interviews are paraphrased. But I hope I've captured the essence of what these artists wanted to share with all of you.

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