THE CONVERSATION CONTINUES AFTER THE CURTAIN COMES DOWN

Over the past 10 years I have felt gratitude for the opportunity to use my acting skills to make the masses aware of the devastating impact of domestic violence and help prevent its spread. In that time we have toured most of the military bases in the US and one in Japan, many schools, Police departments and prisons.

Using the performing arts to bring awareness we have many who are or have been victims of domestic violence. Often our presentation will “trigger” an emotional outburst causing some the need to leave the room.  We always have a “talk back “session at the end with audience participation.

I have had many ask questions about my reactions to these experiences.

Question: Do you feel the information you bring is helpful to the non-victims in the audience?

The information in the shows can be helpful for everyone.

Question: Do you feel your presentation brings comfort to victims or just open old sores?

The presentations bring much information into the open.  This can make discussion points easier to talk about for a victim.  It can also help a victim to realize that they are not alone with their struggles.  If old sores are being opened, hopefully individuals may find professional help to find strength and heal.

Question: Has this work impacted your personal life?

I had no idea of the impact that domestic violence was making on our country, or even the world prior to my involvement with Fix the Hurt.  The shows have a clever way of singing and dancing about a serious subject, made to be easily digestible for the audience.

Question: Does the audiences’ reaction make acting more difficult or inspire you to continue.

An actor’s job is to affect the audience.  Live theatre is a conversation between the performers and the audience.  The audience will react as they wish, whether it is laughter, crying, heckling.  It is always positive to get a response from the audience.  The conversation continues until the curtain comes down.

Question: Summarize how acting for Fix the hurt is different from other acting jobs.

The audience wishes to be entertained, so the cast, including myself set out to do just that.  It is our job.  The added element of theatre with a message, takes this work with Fix the Hurt to a new level.  Besides entertaining, we are delivering a valuable message about a sensitive and sometimes overlooked topic of domestic violence.  This is a very unique project which I am grateful to be involved.

Kirby Soderberg

Actor