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a fighter and a lover

Amber Frances is back with another blog. She's playing the part of Liberté in the upcoming production Trompe L'Oeil.


Hey! It’s me again. Amber. I know I wrote about my process of character development the last time, but I’m here to tell you I was wrong. Well, not wrong wrong necessarily, but everything changed again. Liberté made my process change. What can I tell you? It differs with every character.


My first instincts about this character, in many ways, were quite wrong. I saw more sadness in her, simply because I had sadness in me, but she isn’t really sad. She can be, and she accepts it when it happens, but in essence she is a joyful spirit. And her joy and fun, at night when she can come out of her painting, is like an act of rebellion. She’ll always have it, no matter what happens to her. She’ll shine as brightly as possible during the day for all the people visiting her - for some who have a fighting spirit, even more maybe - and at night, every night, she’ll find the key to life: by truly living it, unafraid and unapologetically.


Her fun is infectious and that is her way of making a difference, which is something she wants to do, but can’t really, simply because she is a painting and needs to stay the way she’s painted. What she can do is motivate others that come and see her in the Louvre, to fight, to stand their ground. And if they want to use her image for that, cool! Do it! You go and make a change! And at night, her joy makes others want to live their life too, instead of staying flat or being stagnant. Life is there to be lived. Live it! That’s who Liberté is. She has found her way to live this life. It’s not perfect, and in many ways not really what she wants, but she can make it work pretty well, if she says so herself.


She’s not blind, she’s not oblivious to what goes on around her, but she makes a conscious decision to live life to the fullest. With love, with hurt, with vulnerability. I should take a leaf from her book. I didn’t think I could be so wrong about someone, but playing Liberté has taught me that things aren’t always as they seem. I feel like I was an outsider looking in, who then finally found the door to the heart of her. And then suddenly, magic happens, and everything you thought you knew about her, you let go off, and as if by miracle you just align with her in the most natural way that comes to you. It’s weird. It doesn’t feel like you’re acting or being any different from who you are, but you are. I don’t know much about this acting thing, but what I do know is that accepting the discomfort in letting go of control will bring you magically close to the story you are trying to tell.


Even painter Delacroix wrote in the letter to his brother: “I have undertaken a modern subject, a barricade, and although I may not have fought for my country, at least I shall have painted for her. It has restored my good spirits.” Liberté has found her way to make a difference within her capacity as a painting. As a piece that represents French Romanticism and has become an iconic image for revolution throughout history, Liberté is truly a lover and a fighter. They go hand in hand, always, just like Keanu Reeves says: “If you’re a lover you gotta be a fighter, ‘cause if you don’t fight for love, what kind of love do you have?”


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