Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Elephant Man Actor Blog, Part 2: "When I Reach It, I'll Know"

We continue our series of behind-the-scenes glimpses from actor Mike Tepeli, who is playing John Merrick, the title character in BoHo's production of The Elephant Man, opening January 7th.

"Listening. Every professor, actor, and good director will talk about it. Its such a basic concept, and yet it’s the most difficult ‘phase’ of the process to reach. If my process were laid out in a pyramid, with the foundation being script work; the middle being movement work, acting exercises, and every tool we use to explore; the cap stone is simply listening. Everything else is used to inform how you react.

"This final stage always takes me a while to get to, but that’s why we rehearse, and why it’s called a rehearsal process; characters mature over time, and if I keep grinding along eventually I’ll reach ‘the moment’ That’s when I stop thinking about how things ‘work’; I’m not focusing on how Merrick moves, or how he talks, or how he gets from any point A to any point B. I’m just listening to my fellow actors, and reacting. I mean this in the most humble sounding way, but I know that moment happens because it’s explosive. Others may not even notice it, but I’ll know. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m beginning to feel it. For now, lets just say it’s a series of tiny pops, that I’m hoping will become a large bang. I just gotta trust I’ll get there."

-Mike Tepeli, Dec 3.
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