TALK THROUGH IT ◊ EPISODE FOUR
STUART MELTZER TAKES A BREAK FROM REHEARSAL TO CHAT WITH STEVE ANTHONY, CAST MEMBER OF THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Stuart: Steve Anthony
Stuart: Thank you for talking with me going into our third week of rehearsal, ending our second week.
Steve: Hard to believe isn’t it.
Stuart: You play Ed, in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and he’s Christopher’s dad. So right now what are your thoughts about the character? He’s got some flaws, but he’s got a big heart.
Steve: Well, I certainly can’t deny that he has flaws. In the playing of the character who is flawed, I personally find it counter productive to look at him as being flawed. I just simply try to inhabit his skin and not judge him so I can be as honest to that character as possible. Even if I were playing thee most loathsome character in history, if you go in thinking of your character in that way, you’re kind of doomed.
Stuart: I totally agree with you.
Steve: It’s sort of like if you asked me to describe myself as Steve, and I’d say “Oh Gee, I have a big heart but I’m rather flawed” (both laugh) Who talks like that?! So yeah, I just try to find those points of convergence between how I see the world and how I think my character might see the world and sort of minimize everything where we might not see eye to eye.
Stuart: Is the role challenging for you?
Steve: Certainly, it’s always challenging, if it weren’t I think I would be doing something wrong! You’d hate to think you just roll out of bed and play a character, but I suppose some people can.
Stuart: Yeah, some people can.
Steve: I mean the challenge is as it always is: to find that authenticity, to find the truth in the lie—to paraphrase our own show. That’s endlessly challenging.
Stuart: I don’t think I’ve ever asked you this: Is that a big component of your work, as a musician and an actor.
Steve: Certainly, I sort of have always felt like the point of any artistic endeavor is to touch people at a certain level, maybe help them to find some level of understanding of something that’s bothering them, or has always bothered them. So, I think the best thing you can do is to show somebody a small reflection of themselves or their own experiences, fears, etc. and give them a chance to juxtapose their own experience over this piece of artwork, but if there isn’t that level of authenticity to it you’re not going to engage with an audience.
Stuart: What excites you in the theatre as a patron or as a theatre maker?
Steve: Well, I’m a pretty easy audience member…and yet not. Sometimes I get a little cranky. If I’m not in the right mood for a play….you know…
Stuart: I think THE theatre has a responsibility for truth, which is what we’re talking about, no matter what you’re dealing with
Steve: I think that’s true on a macro level.
Stuart: But I think the responsibility is to somehow get into an audience’s head and soul for a moment.
Steve: Right, well somebody once said, and I thought it was a lovely and poetic way of putting it, he said that “our chief responsibility in the theatre is simply to make the audience feel a bit less lonely in the dark”.
Stuart: I love that
Steve: So, yeah, if you can achieve that then I think you’ve done something.
Stuart: I think that’s a great way to end this episode, thank you so much for talking with me.
Steve: No thank you, I really enjoyed it.