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.

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