Actually, Actually, Actually
A blog post by Davante Jackson
For the past month I have been working with an incredible team of people on Emerson Stage’s 2019–2020 Season opener, Stupid F##king Bird. This has been an amazing opportunity and experience as an actor and a student.
Quick bit of introductions, I am Davante Jackson, a current junior BFA Theater Education and Performance major with a minor in African American and African Studies and I play Conrad in Stupid F##king Bird. I am from Madison, Wisconsin and this year I am also an RA in the Little Building. Stupid F##king Bird is my second fully staged Emerson Stage production, last year I was in Flora and Ulysses as well as the NewFest shorts performance.
Stupid F##king Bird by Aaron Posner is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Both of which you should read because they are really good plays. It follows a family, both blood and found as they investigate love, life, and art in the intricate and complex relationships they have with one another.
As mentioned earlier, we have been working on this show for a month, with rehearsals starting August 26. And every single day has been actually, actually, actually wonderful. From day one Rebecca Bradshaw, the show’s director and Emerson alum, has interwoven the professional aspect of Emerson Stage with the learning component of being at a college. We’ve been directly applying many techniques taught to us here at Emerson into the rehearsal process. From first year Movement and Voice classes to sophomore year Scene Study techniques. It’s been wildly informative to apply the knowledge I’ve gained in classes to the real world practice of it all. Especially with a craft as experience based as acting. Sometimes I get into my head and forget that all the things I’m doing in my classes have applications outside of that room, and SFB has been incredible in reminding me too practice what I’ve learned.
Beyond being informative this has been transformative. It’s a cliché statement that literally every actor has made once or twice in their time, but I have learned so much from getting to be Conrad for this past month. He has reminded me of so many life lessons but most importantly, he’s reminded me how much I love theatre. With every show I do I am reminded of this; how joyful the theatre is. How alive the world is inside those four walls. From the beginning table read to the 10 out of 12’s tech rehearsals to now, the night before opening, I have been filled with absolute joy.
Stupid F##king Bird has been an awesome experience and an incredible opportunity. In the words of Conrad it is theatre that “can make you feel like living better or fuller or MORE”
Davante will take over Emerson Stage’s instagram account (@emersonstage) on opening night of Stupid F##king Bird, September 26, 2019. Tune in to our Instagram to follow along on her journey. Tickets to see Davante as Conrad are available at emersontheatres.org.