ACTOR’S CORNER: Kelsey Secules on emotional accessibility

I am thrilled to be playing Kari. She has a wonderful brokenness and bitterness about her that I think only comes with time. As a 21-year-old actor who’s been lucky enough to never have her heart broken, I don’t carry very much bitterness. In fact, I’m quite the obnoxious optimist. So finding the weight of someone who had their heart broken fifteen years ago and is reminded of that “hurt” everywhere she IMG_2865looks is presenting an exciting challenge.

“Do we become by forgetting or by remembering the past?”

I’m really intrigued by the vulnerable soft parts of Kari. Obviously there’s an incredible hardness to her, shrinking her feelings down into a tiny box and putting them away for so long. She’s living a life she doesn’t like. She has so much built up anger for Peter — but he’s still Peter. He’s still that guy she fell in love with in high school. He’s just as handsome, he’s so hopeful and that has to affect her a great deal. But she’s suffered so much that all she can share with him is her anger and her hurt and her loneliness.

I really like how much blame gets placed on time in this show. The Narrator even says straight up to Peter, “Time only goes in one IMG_0652direction, don’t you see, that’s your problem! It’s not you, it’s not her, it’s time. It’s time that’s breaking your heart, I’m sorry.” There is so much in every single one of their interactions about what could’ve been. It’s amazing to me how quickly they fall into their seemingly old rhythms of conversation. They know parts of each other so well. And then add fifteen years of loneliness and regret and hurt and you have them where they are now.

I trust Matthew and Wilson so much next to me on stage. I trust them to listen to me and to respond and that is so wonderful and reassuring as an actor. I know that I can go in a completely different direction and that they’re right there with me. Our well-established working and personal relationships are growing deeper as we share more and more of ourselves in story circles and pull those pieces of ourselves into our characters. Discussing and revealing  and reflecting on bits of our short sheltered lives has proved to be incredibly strengthening of our small ensemble and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m thrilled to be working on such a brilliant moving piece and I look forward to getting these lines in my head and really playing with my fellow actors to create this romantic and embittered world.

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