Heather Callahan-Stevens Talks About Playing Drunk


Q: What is going on in the clip below?
Heather Callahan-Stevens:
In rehearsing The Tempted, a one-woman show being created for me by writer/director Stephen Mitchell, we thought it would be fun to experiment and perform a section of the piece wherein the character is inebriated.

Q: What was the purpose of this exercise?
Heather Callahan-Stevens:
The point was to not just pretend to play intoxicated, but to play drunk within the boundaries and particularities of the character rather than performing a cliché drunk.. She is a lot more reserved than I am, more concerned with maintaining her control. I tend to hug random people a lot more.

Q: How did you accomplish this?
Heather Callahan-Stevens:
I kept the phrasing of the words I used when playing her “sober”, and exaggerated the emotional reactions to what she is saying, changing the more technical aspects such as the cadence of the sentences and emphasis of particular words in a sentence.

Q: What was the overall result of the exercise?
Heather Callahan-Stevens:
It allowed my “sober” performance of the character to be a little free.