The process. The process. The process is what crafts a playback theatre performer.
I have been told the same applies as to how one grows as a professional Social Worker. I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work/ Arts from the University of Sydney in 2009. Having discovered a passion for theatre in 2007, I knew that more than anything, I wanted this year to be about cultivating my skills as a performer, rather than cultivating my skills as a counsellor, as a caseworker, or what-have-you.
Surprisingly, I have found that Playback offers me the opportunity to do both!
The performance of Playback begins even before the first actor says their first word on stage. It begins with the act of listening. Listening to the storyteller as they leave themselves vulnerable, revealing a part of themselves to an entire audience. This is where the counselling part of me kicks in.
I attune myself to the storyteller’s body language, looking out for what is left unsaid. I listen for sentiments expressed that seem central to the storyteller’s ‘truth’ and strive to reflect this in how I perform. I try to see if there is an experience that I can portray differently so as to give a different perspective on the situation. Skills that are very much central to counselling.
Who would have thought that so early on in my career as a Social Worker and an Actor/Performer, that I could find a way to infuse two such distinct worlds into one, two bodies of knowledge fuelling my creative process!
Rani P Lukita 25/5/2010