In the show I’m about to start rehearsing, I’m playing a monster.

You know, that kind of repulsive human being who tortures people with no reason beyond being cruel. Well, at first pass it looks like that. And I don’t want to play it that way, for several reasons, the foremost of which is that I don’t think my mental health will survive four weeks of playing a person like that. I’m going to have to pull out every self-care tool in my kit.

As always the actor’s task is to fall in love with their character, to find all their admirable qualities, and to understand each and every thought and action.

It’s tempting to play violent abusers as monsters, but to truly practice the art form, it’s an opportunity to delve into a mindset and practice understanding and compassion.

But I’m still at the stage of seeing this character as repulsive.

The work is just beginning.