Presence of actors

An actor is believable when he inhabits his role, according to Lavery. In the rehearsal process actors do a lot of thinking both with their bodies and their brains to find the believable moves and to have a realistic and believable relationship to the other people on stage.

The audience has to believe them. Finding one’s character usually happens physically in Lavery’s experience. It is like a dance; suddenly the character exists in the body of the actor. The entire body and voice and movement distill into a behavior that is the character. To find this moment is what the rehearsal process is about; finding the moment when the air thickens and the character on stage appears to be alive. To find their character actors try different things, do scene’s in different ways: furious, exaggerated, very calm etc.. You never know what it is that is going to unlock this moment, but it’s always something, Lavery finds.

It is the job of an actor to notice how for example a nurse moves and what typifies her so the audience will think: “oh, she’s a nurse”. Moves differ in different styles; in a comedy a nurse moves different to a nurse in a tragedy. The size of the theatre and the distance between actors and audience also influences the way actors have to move in order to convey their character. Body moves of an actor have to be precise, according to Lavery.