Tonight Out of Character delved deeper into the world of autobiographical performance and how life experiences can help us shape a piece of theatre that expresses strong emotions felt at a poignant time in our life. Of course, when you are dealing with the autobiographical there are many issues that need to be considered both as a performer and an audience member.
As a performer you need to be very aware of your own personal boundaries and how much personal information you are willing to divulge. This negotiation of how much to reveal poses important questions as a performer, especially when dealing with particularly traumatic events.
Although these events may form the very fibre of who we are as human beings, certain amounts of care and awareness need to be applied in order to protect ourselves and our audience. Moments of self-reflection and clarity may be gained from sharing stories in the public domain but we need to be aware as performers that this moment of empowerment and ‘realness’ doesn’t come at a high cost.
As an audience member, listening to the personal stories of others can be extremely powerful and trigger emotions deep within. Personal stories could be described as the blanket of life… sometimes we are willing to share that blanket with others, sometimes we keep that blanket close and private, out of the reach of others. As performers it is understanding that delicate balance that provides moments of powerful autobiographical theatre.