It has been an almost three year process, getting #ActorsLife onto the boards, but Estelle Terblanche is finally ready to show the world what she’s got, says THERESA SMITH:
Currently running at the Masambe Theatre at the Baxter Theatre Complex, #ActorsLife is a one-woman play centred on Christine the actor’s search for a job, as she tries on every single stereotypical character she has ever rehearsed in an effort to be herself.
We watch the character audition for a new role as she wonders who she really is, in an almost mockumentary style. Almost because there is an uncomfortable grain of truth in what the character portrays – her insecurity is not made up just for the sake of entertainment .
Terblanche started working on the play when she was going through a dry spell: “I was in a place where I hadn’t worked for almost two years and I was tired of waiting, I had to do something myself,” she said.
Drawing on the weird and wonderful casting experiences she and her friends have gone through. she wrote and rewrote and reworked the piece. The title was one of the last things to be settled on, but that also gave her the idea to work on an online persona for the Christine character, something she wants to explore further.
Creating work for yourself
While Terblanche does have an active social media presence, she is not like the Christine character who is trying to live up to that Instagram life, but she sees potential in taking the hashtag further as part of the performance.
Like director Tamryn Speirs, Terblanche is a perfectionist so the two spent quite a bit of time filming and editing the video clips which form part of the performance – recorded sequences are used in the play to give the audience an insight into the inner workings of the Christine character’s mind. “This was the first time we were doing this one woman show and working with the camera so we shot a lot of that. I don’t mind putting in the work,” she said.
They’ve added some more clips since their first run at the Drama Factory in April, and the version of #ActorsLife you will see at the Baxter Theatre right now is pretty much what they were aiming at. Terblanche wants to grow this production, maybe even expand it as she goes along – because if no-one wants to give you work then you simply have to create it yourself.
Where and when: Masambe Theatre, Baxter until 1 June 2019 / Drama Factory, Somerset West on 21and 22 June 2019