We are all consumed by something in our lives. We all have our obsessions. To quote Daniel Radcliffe, "If you’re going to be obsessed with something, being obsessed with a series of books or films is pretty good…some people are obsessed with heroin."
I think Consumed is about our obsession with power, with distraction, and with action without consequence. We live In a world that was set up and given to us by the generation before us. What will the world we leave be like for the next generation? My father was always scared of what the world would be like when I got older. It's only been 25 years, and I cannot imagine with the next 25 will bring. It's very scary for me to think about bringing a child into this world. It almost feels selfish.
We're setting up a completely technological world, which seems to be the natural progression of our species. We are immersed in this virtual connection that we have with people from around the world. Information about anything or anywhere is at our fingertips in a moments notice, but we are so enveloped that we are oblivious to the immediate connections and events that happen directly around us.
This show began as what seemed to me as a political warning to the world. However, since we began rehearsals, many things we were going to touch on began to actually happen. The process then took a natural turn in a more specific direction. It's still political and social, but now it tackles more pedestrian and public issues.
Consumed focuses on our generated self-appearance. It's not about who we really are, it's about who we create for the world to see. We begin with exaggerated versions of ourselves, and strip down to our downfalls, our ticks, and our mannerisms, to show who we really are behind the mask we put on every day. There is a sense of connection between all of us, but it's overpowered by the isolation of ourselves.
This show touches on some of the servants that exist in our society today: a workaholic mother, a forgetful old man, a priest, a schoolteacher, etc. It has been an incredible journey to learn who these characters are in their professional life versus their public life versus their private life. I, personally, am playing the character of the priest, and I've been faced with the question of how a priest deals with hopelessness. What happens when a priest loses his congregation, or his faith? Coming from a physical theater background, I focus on a lot of character work and intentions, so it has been quite insightful to build this character from the ground up and then tear him right down. However, it's been difficult to avoid the stereotypes that deal with corruption in religion and to focus on the individual at hand.
Consumed also deals with distraction. We are constantly seeking a way to distract ourselves from the problems in the world around us, and instead we just point the finger at everyone else. One of our biggest downfalls is our inability to let ego go, and except total responsibility for the things we are a part of.
I'm excited to see what the audience will experience and take away from this piece, because it handles so many different topics, yet at the same time it leaves so much room for the audience to color in with their own crayons.