A Moment of Crisis

Life is not scripted. Each moment is new, unique, different. Many people cling to routinely determined patterns, subconsciously believing repetition will keep them safe. But the only true constant is change, so why not embrace it?

Change is not our enemy or our friend. Change simply is. Accepting the idea that change is a part of life is the first step towards understanding yourself and the world around you.  I realize this sounds like the beginning of a self-help diatribe but this entire line of thought stems from Heads Up’s recent work on The Pillowman.

I first learned about Stanislavski’s Method of Physical Actions and Active Analysis when Benjamin, the Co-Artistic Director, had me read over a proposal he was writing for a research conference. The next thing I knew we were exploring this approach in our work on The Pillowman.

During my first rehearsal using this technique, I became so frustrated by the process that I shut down. That is to say I completely stopped trusting myself and, in turn, stopped playing. An actor who won’t play is useless.  Benjamin pulled me to the side in an attempt to right the ship. He explained that I needed to compress the frustration in order to overcome it.

In the time since this crisis, the process has become much less frustrating. Compression has propelled my creation. I enjoy the challenge, determined to pull through and grow as an actor and individual. I have learned every performance is a unique experience. Change is constant.

The same way I transformed my frustration into creation, the audience must be willing to accept a similar challenge when watching The Pillowman. The Pillowman is dark. It will take you down a long and winding road you have been avoiding. But rather than sticking to routine– to safety– embrace change and allow yourself to be pulled inside. If you allow it, this story will make you laugh, make you cry and make you grow.

-TJ Jozsa
Co-Artistic Director


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