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  • Writer's picturethebikingactor

Finding my voice

As an actor, we thrive when playing somebody else. The challenge of embodying a character and telling their story; to discover their mannerisms and find their voice. For us playing a character is fun and comfortable! Being yourself is a tad more difficult.

Ask any actor what they do for a job and they’ll enthusiastically tell you. What they may not tell you is that it’s not so much “what they do” but rather “who they are”. They are an actor!

Now some actors are great raconteurs. They’ve always got a story to tell, they can pull out a joke on demand and are generally your go-to invite when you’re hosting a party. We all have friends like this. It may still be a performance but they’re darn good off book. Then there’s the other type of actor, the one who could play that role and be that voice, if you gave them a script!

Unfortunately due to Covid-19 there are no scripts, and a great many actors are going to have to find their own voices!

Now, I come from the Musical Theatre side of the industry, and only yesterday Sir Cameron Mackintosh confirmed that the four big shows: Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton and Mary Poppins, would remain closed until 2021. All cast and crew would be facing immediate redundancies.

So if both Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Cameron Mackintosh, arguably the masters of Musical Theatre are saying this, then there’s pretty much no hope of employment this year!

Front of House staff, wardrobe, wigs, dressers, lighting crew, back stage crew, book office, set designers, production office staff, performers etc. The entire industry shut down.

Now, let’s be optimistic and imagine that Covid has disappeared by January 2021. The next battle would be gaining customer confidence to come back into those crowded theatres!!! So plucking a date from thin air, let’s say theatres open around June 2021.

Well then try and get a job, when everyone is available! There’ll be no more getting the job through being the No1 second choice! :o)

It’s quite a scary thought but it’s also made me realise that I need to discover my own voice and possibly follow a different path.

I have to be honest, I’m not much of a biker but I always thought I was an actor. I never imagined that choosing the name “The Biking Actor” would be wrong on both counts!! Perhaps I should have gone with “The Fairweathered Riding Vegan” but then I might be tempted to eat chicken again!!! Argh!!!!

Now is the opportunity for me to do something for myself, to find my own voice and discover if I’m not an actor, then who am I? (24,601?)

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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