Bruce Herbelin- Earle 2015
One costume which seems to cause more debate and anxiety with new and young [over 18] performers is their own skin and nudity in performance.
This ofcourse in our culture is quite understandable , but with so many productions requiring it [and audiences wanting to see it] it's a decision any actor has to make.
Do they or do they not offer nudity as part of their range potential.
Now on stage nudity in performance is not new ofcourse - what is new is how much of this nudity is filmed and shared even if on stage.
Around 10 years ago I also had a choice to make - did I meet the demand to prepare actors for nudity within my work or exclude it?
Agents were clear - they would expect it more and more from their clients - because being confident to this level meant maximum work exposure [no pun intended].
For me despite reservations there was really no doubt - if an actor needed to include it then so should I. At that time by use of photography and general confidence building.
Now, let us be clear any actor has the absolute right to say "No" to nudity - but trouble is any agent also has the right not to have them on their books.
A dramatic actor could go years without dressing down or literally it could be his/her first role.
So much of the controvesy over nudity seems to be a British thing - literally foreign to many other parts of Europe and the World.
And nudity does not equal "sex" - it simply reflects any situation where nudity happens - like taking a shower or getting dressed for work!
The key problem with the thought of dressing down is that of personal self confidence - deal with that then confidence builds and worries subside.
If it's a good role but has nudity - so what you then say - it's a good role - I am a good actor - lets go for it.
The important thing I stress working with actors heading for giving it a go is it should have context and reason behind the nudity.
So how do we approach building up the required confidence.
By conversation, taking time and being prepared.
I never under value what it takes to go nude for the first time with a camera on you.
All work is confidential and images or video would only ever be released publically if agreed by the actor concerned as part of the shoot agreement.
The purpose of working to this level is to build up the personal self confidence of those involved without an audience and in private.
The great thing about taking actors to this level is the high appreciation expressed as they feel more prepared should that demanding role come their way.
But always remember, for some it will be just to much - and that's fine too - it must always be the actors decision to make.
Should anyone not sure or afraid of taking part to this level or offering it as part of their range - feel free to discuss it first and let's see what might be best for you.