(Dedicated to all the folks that we have worked together on stage)

Stage play/theatre is usually a phenomenon of make belief and this has always painted another image of the dramatist personae to the audience. The experience is also the same in the home movie world. However due to the number of movie that professional actors are involved in, the character of the first few movies is attached to the person. The beauty of stage plays as I know, it aids the development of retentive memory, and there is no way in which a character would not retain something by heart. After few attempts of holding the script during rehearsal, a very good person is expected to keep the lines, then rehearsal continues subsequently without the script. Those who had never been on stage should not think that actors are not knowledgeable. They have a peculiar skill. In that same context, the ability to imitate is also a particular attribute. Actors have always pictured political office holders and other prominent people that the audience can name the person that is being imitated immediately.

Languages can be learnt for the purpose of a specific production. Actors are very distinct characters. Competition is eminent in any production. You will have to contend with others to eventually win a role in a production. Your performer is the gateway to being on the cast. If the play is about being staged and another person with better delivery is available that is automatic dethronement of the person in that role for the new person. Boss satisfaction is very compulsory if you will be the person that will really perform on the day of production. The director has the final say about the cast because his rating is based on the output of the cast. You will have to win the loyalty of your boss for him to entrust you will the capability of delivering as expected. Another valuable point is the ability to deliver. Delivery is fundamental as well.

If you cannot deliver by maximizing the stage movement, if you cannot deliver by using the correct pitch and make the tone real to live, then you could be unfit for the role for example, a lady who fell in love would not use the same pitch like when she is jilted in the play. With all these advantage to the person taking on a role, the discourse will not evolve to discussing what makes the name of the character sticky even long after play is over. The person has put on a character as if it is real, so acting that part makes people believe you are really the person.

Imagine someone who is constantly callous in plays; the assumption is that even in real life situation, the person would be as constantly seen by this is usually contrary. So stage names become sticky.
However, this is almost always a wrong assumption. Stage name are character driven, your character at the time of that play is carried by you. So in order to bond during rehearsals, deliver sufficient during the presentation or in the movie the character must be worn thoroughly. So there is no option.

A clown usually retains the identity for a longer time, despite the fact that character names might change in other plays, the initial clownish character overrules. People would not forget all the comedy in that movie or stage presentation. The retentive memory part now reflects in this way.

After years in which the production is over, the characters might even have lost contact but if by happenstance, they meet, with the call of that name used on stage, everything is remembered about that person as such the bond is reignited. Stage name is sticky, if you don’t want to carry on another character, never be a part of a production. The production becomes a part of you, such that, songs, steps and other lessons learnt during each production is entrenched in memory. You will get a sticky stage name most especially during a fantastic production.

12:37pm 19th April, 2012.

(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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