A few months back I joined the staff of the Science Museum of Minnesota in preparation for their upcoming Titanic exhibit, for which I and nine other actors will portray actual crew members of the famed, fated ship. We are split up amongst those who survived and those who drowned (and before you even get smart about it, no, there are no zombies - the ones who perished just don’t make it on to a separate part of the exhibit ; there will be no gnashing of teeth nor clamoring for brains). While I find this whole process and the extensive research involved incredibly intriguing, I find it difficult to talk about this role in terms of a “character.” Evelyn Marsden, whom I have chosen to study and portray, was a real woman with a real history and a real future and a real experience. Yet at the same time artistic liberty is a necessity, as the information available about her is scant and the unexpected questions from visitors will be endless. I think this lands squarely in the camp of Historical Fiction...a new venture for me.
We start rehearsals a week from today and I’ll admit I’m a little nervous. I have a great understanding of the overall picture…it’s just that my retention of the details is not so hot at present.
That and my Australian accent needs some serious work; “CRIKEY!” will only get a girl so far.