Commentary: On being a performer in ‘August: Osage County’

Joshua Burley. Courtesy photo

My experience in the production “August: Osage County” was amazing.  I enjoyed working with such an amazing All-Star cast. 

The story of “August: Osage County” is about a family coming together on behalf of their deceased kin, Beverly. Each and every single member of the family has got their own set of issues going on.  

Out of them, Steve was the worst of the worst. I must admit, it really was not settling for me to Steve. He set out with an agenda to make out with a 14-year-old.  In the midst of the chaos going on with the family, Steve was still set on fulfilling his evil passions and desires to make out with a child.  It was really hard for me to play a role like that because it was completely out of my character and he was just despicable. 

Steve overall was the most cringing character of the show, like it was more cringing for me to play this character then it was the audience watching me play the character. At the same time it was funny hearing the reactions from the crowd with some of the scenes that was uncomfortable. It took a lot of time for me too I just mentally for this character because originally we started rehearsal back in March during the spring semester.

The show itself was supposed to take place during the spring semester but it ended up taking place this semester. I’m really happy that we did not do it during the spring because I believe it gave us all the time we needed to prepare and adjust towards the storyline of the show. It also gave us the chance to bond with each other more because within every show the cast has to develop a connection with each other. 

Everyone has to feed off of each other’s energy while performing because when you don’t do that the performance dies. There is no performance when you get the cast together, but the cast is not feeling one another. In theater you have to respond to each other‘s energy whenever you are performing. This helps with reaction from different characters and from what my previous teachers have told me is that 80 percent of acting is reacting so if you’re not reacting to what another person is saying it’s not acting. With this cast I was able to bond with each and every single person animated so much easier to react to what each and every single person was saying within their character. 

Every performance I have ever done since high school the cast becomes a family to me. I gain new brothers and sisters within every show with an every performance I do. Being able to perform with people like LaJazz, Mionne, Marvin, Artemio, Lauren, De’Lia, Isaiah, Mata, Dwedee,and Mike was truly a blessing and an honor. I feel like I am among the next Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Sanaa Lathan, Will Smith,  Kerry Washington, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Chadwick Boseman. 

To perform with such talent and passion for the one thing I am passionate about is humbling, and I hope to perform with these guys again in the future.