Theater has always been my escape. It’s the place where I can drop all my inhibitions and completely transform myself into someone new. It is a time when I feel totally confident and sure of myself. But what happens if the character you are tasked to play is very similar to who you are? Where does that confidence go?
Nurse Flinn is a young woman who I would characterize as fearful. She holds tight to her Catholic beliefs, which in my opinion, makes her even more nervous about those around her expressing themselves in ways that her faith does not approve of. Not much is described about Nurse Flinn, but I believe that she is hard-working and very dedicated to her job.
As someone who grew up in a Christian household and also struggles with anxiety, I see a lot of myself in Nurse Flinn. While she does have many admirable qualities, it is difficult to share the quality of being timid and afraid. I think many people would find playing a character that hits so close to home easier to play, but I have found the opposite. At times, it has been challenging to be sure of myself in this role. I find myself questioning if I am doing too much or simply not enough.
I believe that there can be beauty found in this discomfort. I have learned that I need to trust my instincts more and find confidence in who I am, rather than just relying on the confidence of the character I am trying to portray. It also helps that our director will ask us how we feel we are doing and ask us questions about our character. I have really enjoyed thoughtfully learning more about my character each and every day.
Since this character has a personality similar to my own, I look forward to the continued lessons I will learn through the embodiment of this character. This is my very first show with Parker Players and I am so excited to be in a production with so many talented people. I am so honored to be in such an incredible show.
Erin Liston plays Nurse Flinn