April 3, 2023

Sizes of Performers

Does anyone think people’s size is relevant in relation to their work?

Reese Witherspoon is 5’1” Kim Kardashian 5’2”,Daniel Radcliffe, Joe Pesci and Danny DeVito 5’4”. Does it make any difference to their performance that they are shorter in stature?

Then there’s Jane Lynch and Gwendoline Christie 6’, Greg Davies 6’8,” Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, RuPaul and Chevvy Chase all 6’4” and most female fashion models are between 5’9” and 6’ – taller than average.

If I’m working with tall actors I ask them to be their full height. Often you find that they sort-of apologise for being tall by stooping slightly. When you ask them to be their full height you see a difference in them – corny I know, but they rise to the occasion.  Drawing themselves up can change them. Sometimes it’s a relief that someone has noticed and given them permission to be different. When they can say, “Hey I’m tall – get over it,” you set up a theatre space where everyone can be who they are and not feel judged.

Equally with people who are shorter.  You come to terms with it, after all it doesn’t define who you are. Shorter actors have as much or even more power in them than anyone else – see the above list. If you are happy in your own skin your height has nothing to do with your ability to do a good job. I can’t bear the tyranny of the normal. What is this so-called normal anyway? When I was at school bullies got their security by mocking people who didn’t fit their own narrow  outlook. I suppose these self-appointed arbiters of what was acceptable got a power kick from making others feel uncomfortable. They called it banter and mocked you more if you couldn’t “take the joke”. What an utter waste of time. Thankfully we now live in an age that sees people as people and celebrates who they are. We’ve learnt that the differences between us make us more interesting.

I return to the thought that it’s irrelevant – to me it’s like the colour of someone’s skin, you can notice it if you or they need to, but who they are and what they do, their creativity, how they think and whether they are kind and generous is so much more important.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

Related Articles

Summer Schools Make a Difference

Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, highlights the transformative power of residential summer schools. These immersive experiences allow young people to step away from their daily routines and engage deeply in creative pursuits. At Theatretrain's summer school, participants form lasting friendships, hone their talents, and discover new dimensions of themselves through intensive workshops and collaborative activities.
Read more >

Company Call

Last Sunday, Theatretrain held the company call for their 102nd large-scale show. Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett witnessed seven Theatretrain companies, who had been rehearsing since February, come together for the first time. In just three hours, they transformed a school theatre into a hive of creativity and talent, setting the stage for an unforgettable performance. Read the full blog to dive into the details of this extraordinary day!
Read more >

Sometimes We’re All Empty Vessels

Dive into the captivating world of human behaviour and self-perception with Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain. From actors' veiled insecurities to the art of projecting confidence, Kevin explores the intricacies of the human condition. Discover how the stage becomes a training ground for courage, humility, and self-assurance, shaping tomorrow's resilient adults.
Read more >

The Best People Care

Enter the vibrant realm of Theatretrain alongside Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett, where character isn't measured by interactions with animals, but by how we treat children and young people. Join us as we explore the dichotomy of theatre technicians, from begrudging gatekeepers to enthusiastic allies, and the profound influence they have on the stage.
Read more >

Knock Knock Who’s there?

Join Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, and his daughter Grace on a delightful journey through the whimsical world of knock-knock jokes. From Grace's infectious enthusiasm to Shakespearean echoes, each jest is a playful dance of control and delight that transcends generations.
Read more >

Going Mobile

Discover the impact of mobile phones on young minds in this insightful blog by Theatretrain's Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett. With 25% of 5-7-year-olds owning phones, concerns arise. Yet, Theatretrain offers an escape, fostering a focus on arts and connection, free from distractions. Join the discussion on reclaiming youth in a smartphone-dominated world.
Read more >