I’ve been working a lot with Shakespeare lately. Teaching, performing and writing about his plays.
I realize now how much this training and performance experience adds to work with contemporary scripts and in working as an interactive character.
Doing Shakespeare well means the actor is portraying a bigger than life character with unshakable commitment, believability and emotional connection. Unusual, heightened language becomes familiar and expressive. Outrageous circumstances, magical situations and life and death struggles are played with imagination and depth.
Take a moment and think how that describes the characters we find in immersive environments today.
What a great way to learn how to work as, say, a superhero or intergalactic robot fighting to save Earth? A villain looking for revenge, a trainer for cloned dinosaurs or survivors of a global catastrophe that destroyed most of the world’s resources?
It’s not a big leap from the stories Shakespeare wrote to the most popular characters in the world today. While the situations have changed over the years, we share the same basic human emotions, drives and needs as the people who watched Shakespeare’s plays over 400 years ago.
Do yourself a favor. Train to do Shakespeare.