Caper Woodson is an 11th grader and actor at SAAS. He has performed as a Monsieur Cot in Hotel Paradiso, Odysseus in The Odyssey, and is currently Malcolm Beineke in The Addams Family. I asked him about his experience as a performer at SAAS.
Q: What initially drew you to theater?
A: I was initially drawn to theater by a desire to try something new and do something fun with my friends. Erin Devereux said that I should try it out, so instead of doing track, I decided to try my hand at acting.
Q: What inspires you now?
A: People who are able to quickly break down their emotional walls. I realize the importance and value of being truthful as a means for entertainment.
Q: What's your favorite role you've performed as?
A: Monsieur Cot, a firm, angry, pompous Englishman in the play Hotel Paradiso. I loved this role because of its humor and because it allowed me to be as big and over-the-top as I wanted.
Q: How do you prepare for a role?
A: I first just try out whatever feels right. I throw out whatever I think at first glance about the character. Sometimes I'm right - sometimes I'm wrong. I determine what to keep and what to change in terms of pace, tone, stance, etc. I also use the internet to research what people have done with the role before me. The next step is going through the play and coming up with the goals and desires of my character in his various conflicts. The final step is to practice what I have come up with by myself or with others until I feel happy with it.
Q: What's your biggest accomplishment in theater so far?
A: My biggest accomplishment in theater has been playing Odysseus in The Odyssey during my sophomore year. It was a very challenging role which required stamina, hours of line memorization, and an ability to access a diverse range of emotions. The role pushed me not only to the limits of my acting ability, but also to my physical limits, due to the enormous amount of time I spent on stage.
Q: What's special about theatre at SAAS?
A: At SAAS, actors become acquainted with a safe environment where they can express themselves without fear of ridicule. The no cut policy also allows those who have never acted to try something new and see whether they like it or not. Shows are always a very emotional experience and it is inevitable that you will make friends. The end of a great show can break your heart as well as be enormously rewarding and reflective.
Q: What advice would you have for someone interested in performing arts?
A:To someone interested in the performing arts, I would tell them to go for the roles that interest them, rather than the biggest roles. Part of growing as an actor is discovering what kind of roles work for you best and which ones do not. I would also say that it is important to think about every facet of your character including that which is not directly portrayed in the writing. Determine exactly what a character wants at every moment during his performance.