by Padraic Lillis · October 13, 2014
Ashland University's cast has created a FB page to share about their process. I was struck by the honest and enthusiastic observations of Eryn Tramel who plays Becky. Great to hear from the artists in process directly.
Eryn Tramel (Becky):
Let me start off by saying that the cast and management for this production have been a dream to work with. I have never worked on a show where everyone worked together as a team so well. For that I feel truly blessed. I consistently leave rehearsal feeling better about not only my work but my confidence as a person as well. This is only possible with a kick as support system like this cast has provided.
Secondly It has been thrilling to collaborate with Lindsay Joy and Padraic Lillis. I hope that I can maybe get in contact with the actress who played Becky at the workshop in NYC as well as the Beckys at the other schools. Becky is arguably one of the most complicated characters I have ever experienced but for that she will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Okay I'm done with the mushy gushy for now heres some real talk...
As we detail in rehearsal I have been able to relate a lot of what Becky is feeling to recent experiences in my personal life. Becky is me in many ways. We both follow the GSD method of life (we Get Shit Done). We don't play games, ever. When want to do something WE WILL DO IT. I like to describe it as "Alpha Female". The cast likes to describe it as me being "Becky Mutha Fuckin' Farrell". We also want nothing more than to just be loved. Sometimes this comes off as clingy but it comes from love. We want you to know we are always here for you, and we want you to return the favor. My biggest fear is abandonment, and in this scenario, so is Becky's.
We also are both making an effort to become more selfless. I have always struggled with being self centered and making everything about me. Even the little things. This profession does not help me out any either, it is a very vain thing we actors do. We go to auditions and interviews bragging about ourselves and making ourselves look better so that casting directors will like us. But this is not and excuse to how we should approach every day relationships. This struggle keeps me active throughout the piece.
After the initial shock of going from a long haired brunette to a short haired blonde wore off I started to evaluate how people treated me based on the look alone. I have noticed that people do not take me as seriously in my everyday life. The fact that people truly do judge people based on how they look is something that I have really taken notice of these past few weeks. I did not realize how truly judgmental I actually am in my everyday life. But now that I realize this about me I can see the humanity in why Becky was the way she was in High School, because the majority of the people in this world are like that, but are unwilling to own up to it.
Scott has a very interesting way of getting me to tap into the emotional life of Becky's circumstance. Its almost as if he has the instruction booklet on what buttons to push to get me to react in certain ways. I'm not really sure how he knows so well what sets me off but it works, so I'm not complaining. It becomes very natural for me to become emotionally attached to this character.
The biggest struggle I have right now is not playing the problem but sticking to the action. Lets face it Becky has 99 problems and the bitch is one. This is especially hard in the scene where Trevor and Amber are on the porch and Peter and I are arguing in the living room. I give in to the fear that I will never be able to mend things and the abandonment will kick it so much that I forget not to get defensive about it. My action is to bow out, but as an Alpha Female that is easier said than done.
I keep a journal solely for this play and Becky. After every rehearsal I throw my spotify playlist on and just write about what happened in rehearsal that day. My last entry described how I was able to tap into my jealous side as we worked to detail my blow up scene. Jealousy is one of my biggest flaws which makes it fun to portray on stage, almost like its okay to feel that way for a few minutes. Its especially fun because Kate is Ariel McCleary, my roommate and one of my closest friends. We get to hate each other for 3 hours a day its exhilarating because we know its not real. After the prior rehearsal Alyssa Angie who plays Meg came up to me after rehearsing the scene where we get into a fight and apologized profusely for yelling at me. Its almost as if all the fighting brings everyone closer together.
So I guess if you made it this far thank you for reading and hearing me out. It may be a little premature just yet but I truly am not looking forward to this ending. This cast and show mean the world to me. And I wouldn't change any part of it for the world. I fear for closing night. I don't know how I am going to keep my shit together.
Thank you Eryn for writing. Thank you cast and crew of Ashland for letting us be part of your process. Thank you all for reading.
Talk with you soon.