Hi my name is Addison
Russel puts his hand on her face.
Hi Addison, I’m Russel, remember me? Everything will be ok Addison.
The Overseer seems confused, suddenly starts crying.
Russel...Russel? Please help me. My name is Sabrina Kern. I don’t know what’s going on anymore.
Russel and Addison hug, both in tears now.
How? How can I help you? What can I do?
The overseer suddenly, as if in a trance, wakes up and looks at Russel puzzled..Holds out her hand for him.
Hi, my name is Addison. Who are you?
aaand “CUT” – the director yells, his voice slicing through the tension in the room.
Sounds like a scene from a movie with Russell and Sabrina being two thoroughly involved actors and comitted scene partners. Right? They work powerfully off of each other and are incorporating all the notes from the director, some of which they were told just minutes before and there’s a camera man standing just inches from their faces…Except…Not. This is not a movie, there’s no camera man, and one of them is not even an actor. In fact, for one of them this is REAL. Or maybe..just maybe..it’s real for both of them.
I was thinking about this essay for a long time. What angle do I take on to talk about this journey when I have so much to say and endless thoughts and stories running through my mind. Some would think it’s easy to write an essay on something you love so dearly, something that you did for 7 months straight, but it turned out to be much more difficult to find the right words. There’s so many things that are different about this acting experience than any of my previous ones. The one that stands out the most to me was the “blurring of lines”, which is what I want to talk about here. In my opinion, it’s one of the coolest aspects of immersive theater. I even feel weird calling this immersive theater, because the world that Darren Bousman created here is so much more than immersive theater. It’s art , it’s life, it’s a game, it’s a dream world and it’s pure chaos. And that description already embraces those blurring of lines. It’s art yes, it’s just a game yes, but it’s also actual life, the creation of an entire world that is oh-so-real to the participants, the actors and yes even the creators.
The scene above is one of countless scenes that I had the honor and pleasure to be a part of during my journey with Tension. There was constant wonder on the side of the participants wether this was real or “just” theater, just actors acting. And quite frankly, sometimes I wasn’t quite sure either. It almost became like a game between the creators, the actors and the participants. You never knew who believed what and what everyone was really thinking. But what was obvious is that everyone cared. Cared about the story, the world of tension and the characters of tension.