By Caitlin Scarr (2012)
P.T. is currently attending clown school on court order to help him deal with his anger issues. His wife has left him, and he has lost custody of his children. P.T. is one of the characters in Milk Crate Theatre’s upcoming production, Fearless.
P.T. will be played by John, who gave a bit of time between rehearsing scenes to have a chat about his character.
“Well he’s a broken daddy,” John explains. “He’s lost the custody of his kids… it all revolves around [P.T.’s] anger issues and the fact that he has to change before he can see his kids again.”
And why would someone with anger management take clown classes? John says that the classes are a distraction for P.T. from his loneliness, although it is not a cure-all.
“I think his biggest downfall is his anger. Even when he’s doing well, the anger can just make it all fall apart. He’s finally getting somewhere and then his anger will come up and then he’ll just all of a sudden crumble.”
John’s preparation has been varied. He has spent a lot of time watching The Actor’s Studio and learning from other actors. “They work hard, and they have a lot of integrity for the people that they work with.”
John has learnt a lot from working with Mirra. They were taught about “art of intention, and acting and reacting. Because acting,” John explains, “is all about reacting off the other person and the intention that you bring: the approach to what you want from the scene.”
As well as learning as much as he can from Mirra, John is looking forward to working with the professional performers. This he sees as a challenge.
“It’s a quiet wake up call. It’s a warning for us to, if they’re going to put in the work, we need to put in the work too, and we can’t expect to be mothered… [Mirra] wants us to really put in our half. Meet them halfway. They’re absolutely doing their half.”
So amongst the rehearsals and the preparation, what will become of P.T.? John is philosophical about it.
“This hand that he’s been dealt has forced him to face his demons once and for all. I hope for PT is that he does, really, see a rainbow at the end of all his pain… I’m really rooting for PT, even though he has so many dreadful moments of disaster in the play, I hope there’s a little spark that comes shining through for him.”
Fearless will be an insight into the everyday life of people who have been marginalised by society. According to John, it is also a story of determination. He is proud of the Fearless characters.
“We’re not going to be defeated. We’re just going to have a drink, and still see our life as something worth living, and reaching for. As dark as it is, there is still a dream to get us up everyday and fight for our lives, and make a legacy. Not just continue to fail. After failure, hopefully learning something, going through it all. Just seeing the value in change and how that can just turn the tables.”