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Humans of Company One Theatre: Aila Peck
Meet lovely BRAHMAN/I actress Aila Peck
When did you decide you wanted to be an actor?
Part of me believes I always wanted to be an actor, ever since my adolescent premiere as a Lost Boy in a production of Peter Pan when I was 6 years old. I think the more cognitive decision to jump into this career was performing with my high school acting company at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the 10th grade. I was surrounded by thousands of artists, celebrating their craft in the streets, churches, pubs, and restaurants of this tiny Scottish town at all hours of the day and night…and I thought to myself, this is how I wanted to spend my life: bringing people together through the magic of the theatre.
What was your most memorable role?
I believe Brahman/i is absolutely, hands-down, the most memorable, life changing and inspiring role I have worked on. My introduction to B was understudying the role in Chicago this past spring and, even then, I felt the role ingrained in my psyche as one of the most influential roles of my career. Words cannot express my excitement on hearing that I would be coming to Boston to actually do the show myself!
What challenges do you face playing Brahman/i?
Endurance!!! Seriously. This play is like a marathon for an actor. There are so many extreme moments that range the gamut of human experience, not to mention the accent work, the over 20 different impressions, and above all, the intricate dance between comedy and vulnerability that is required in order to establish an integrated relationship between B and the audience, who will never be the same twice. It is such a dynamic piece that demands the actor to step up to the energy of the show without stepping over the heart of the show. It is, hands down, the most difficult piece of theatre I have ever worked on, but ultimately, the most fulfilling.
What do you like or dislike about the character? How do you identify with Brahman/i?
I identify with B’s displacement, irreverence, volatility, sense of play, eccentricity…this list could go on, but I will stop while I am ahead. What I identify with in B is not nearly as important as what I admire about them. What I admire about B is their profound courage in the face of extreme life circumstances and cunning use of humor and intellect to illuminate their personal experience and, in hand, the world as a whole. B is a constant reminder of our integral human capacity for “radical acts of self creation.” In this way, B inspires me every day. I am honored to be able to breathe life into these words.