Mollet del Vallès is a city of 50.000 residents on the outskirts of Barcelona.
The sweet Plaça Prat de la Riba
The people here are friendly, a lot of the population moved from other parts of Spain looking for a better life during the 60’s – 70’s. They continue to speak Spanish but have also integrated Catalan as a common language and everyone seems to live in harmony.
As I walk the streets of Mollet I am aware of the fun, excitement and passion that is in the air (the Spanish and the Catalans are very good at these!)
In 1984 a local artist created the figure of ‘Carnestoltes’, a being half animal half human they say, that arrives in town during the new moon of February every year.
The great mirror scene.
He represents the rebellion against all controlling institutions (which locally are called ‘Els Poders- The Powers’), these being the Church,The Bankers, The Politicians and the Army. In 2005 another local artist created this antagonistic characters.
Every year since 1984 the Town Hall of Mollet offers two shows to the community, the ‘Arrival’ of Carnestoltes, and, one week later, the ‘Judgement.’
The friends of ‘Carnestoltes’ are going to trick the ‘Powers’
He gets captured by the army guys!
The shows are played to big audiences: 1500 people on the ‘arrival’ at the small beautiful plaça Prat de la Riba’ and 3000 people on the ‘Judgement’ at the big Park Pau Casals.
I had the pleasure to write and direct these shows for the past two years.
It has been great fun. I love this city and it’s people!
To me, it is important to come together as a community and celebrate. I am already looking forward to developing the shows next year!
The attitude of a beginner is great. They are completely open and don’t have any bad habits that are hard to shake off. A pure and uncontaminated actor, if they are enthusiastic, committed and enjoy playing, they are a pleasure to work with.
I feel that this is where I have to come from as a director. When I approach a new project it is so important to me to be open and listen…find out what is there, in the space, in the actors, in the play. This is my job, like a gardener I must care for and develop the good, the rich and the healthy. I must not impose what is in my head… my ideas can become weeds.
How important is it to enjoy when we are playing? Without it there is nothing, it’s dead, dead!!!! Technique can be learned BUT without the enjoyment mmmmmhhhh, clinical, may be impressive but not moving. How many times have I seen an actor and have said, they are good, they are impressive, but was I touched? No!!!
The Pig, a character from the Show
‘Amateur’: Lover of ( French)
We actors have to be lovers of acting…(please, if you don’t enjoy it don’t do it! The way I see it, it is not a good idea to suffer…) Enjoyment has to be an ESSENTIAL tool for an actor, to be used over and over again. And when it is not enjoyable, take 5, go for a walk…come back to it after you have cleared the cobwebs from your head!
Technique can be learned (let’s make sure we learn the right techniques and not those who screw people’s heads up…) and if you are going to make a show make sure the script is good and you are in the hands of a good director (very important). Actors sometimes think that they are not good enough, that they have to be better. But if the structure of a house is not good, you can’t get in it. So, how is an actor suppose to come up with the goods if there is no dramatic structure?
A greedy banker, another character from the Show
I am doing a play with amateur actors about the king of Carnival. He comes around Feb/March every year to tell everyone to enjoy, party, go mad and don’t listen to rules. After a week of ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ everyone becomes chaotic. He gets caught by the authorities, judged and burned.
These guys, the actors I am working with, are doing this because they enjoy it, and get a sense of achievement from it. That is it, no money attached to it. I am the only one that is getting paid by the Town Council. Tricky… The Town Council are paying for a show that is essentially about rebelling against authority! No wonder they ‘censored’ my first script!! They felt threatened by it (it was not at all my intention, innocent as I am…) a shame I think… any parent that is self critical and can laugh at their own authority is a better parent. The worst are those who pretend that they do, but in reality they don’t! But hey, I understand, these days people are pretty burned out…
The Heart, beautiful hu?
It is fun to work with Amateurs…because they love it…!
This outdoor show, with live music, will be performed on the 19th Feb for an audience of 4000 people in Mollet del Vallès. I will share my experience on the next blog…Keep having fun!
This is a video by Tom Adams, he is an ex-student of The Actors Space. He is doing a gig on Tuesday 14th Feb in Manhattan 34, 34 Rutland Street, Leicester at 19:00. Do go if you are around, he is very funny!