No one works in a vacuum. My characters would never be the way they are if I didn’t work with my fellow performer characters. That’s when one finds a character, when one plays off another character. If I was just alone, I would be lost. I couldn’t create a character as lasting.
— Frank Oz
Mr Oz talks about character creation in his kind of theatre, but what he says goes right to the heart of character creation in the world.
It takes someone to believe in you, someone to engage you, to create a strong, durable and potent character.
We each need our own Mark Hamill, who is creating Luke Skywalker, to believe in our Yoda for nuanced character to emerge and endure.
I spent a long time yesterday talking with a twenty year old gal who was just busted for drugs. She needs to believe that she was more than a minimum wage worker who everyone looks down on, needed someone to believe that there are bigger and more potent things inside her.
Accurate mirroring gives us the power to believe we know what we know and that we feel what we feel, as Bessel Van Der Kolk says. A therapist is some who sees something in you that you do not yet see in yourself. Mothers speak not to the child in front of them, but to the person that child can become.
In the struggle to create a lasting character, if I was just alone, I would be lost, says Mr Oz.
And I very, very clearly understand what he means.