The dangers of acting

"Every actor wants to be as authentic as possible." — Ian Swift
Ian Swift
Ian Swift

EH: Acting can be dangerous?

IS: Physical things happen to you that can be quite painful. I’ve had two instances, and I hope they were my last. They were both Shakespeare plays.

I broke my nose (of course inadvertently) on stage. That was during a very volatile and vigorous, production of “Julius Caesar.” I was Julius Caesar. In my assassination scene all the actors came up, simulated daggers and very slowly thrust their fists into me. Then, “Et tu Brute? Then fall, Caesar!” And I would fall. It was tricky to die on stage. I always tried different ways in rehearsal, and I finally pretty much had it down. But the other thing I was consumed with was blood being authentic. Every actor wants to be as authentic as possible. I tried different things, a bloody rag, blood pellets, nothing really worked. I gave up.

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