Tara Turnbull

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Bio & Artist Statement

“Everything” was my answer. I had been asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Mine was not a brusque or indecisive response to a clichéd question. I had made a realization. I had discovered an infinite resource. It was an inner resource and it came in the form of character, of choice. It was recognition of my body, voice, imagination and attention as powerful, valuable instruments. I have known my passion for as long as I can remember. It evolves, teaches me, and I continue to appreciate the versatility of being, the access to exponential growth that it is to be an actor. How many ways are there to look at the world, to gesture to it, to respond to and to interrogate each finding? In musing upon answers to these questions, I have learned that there is no detail too small. I search for the tools and techniques to revel in that specificity, to navigate heartspace, and to strive for harmonious interrelation between internal and external vastness.

With my work as an actress, I want to ask questions, restating old ones and posing new ones, in old and new poses. I am interested in who people are, what and how they think, how thought processes from idealism to nihilism are manifest in the world. I am even more interested in what people can be, in becoming, in acting as a presentation of possibilities, of exercising physical limitation, of emotional evolution.

I once watched an actor prepare for a performance for which I operated the spotlight. A song came to me, as songs often, fortunately do. The lyrics asked him, asked me, “How do you make your humanity clear?” The melody resolved with “By becoming an actress, year after year.”

I mean to understand, and to foster my own training as a rigorous dealing with eloquence in articulating humanity.

During my lifetime, I want to make many choices, get to know people and their characters, press my feet into stages, listen to and make the kinds of sounds that resound, see and work with images that create impressions. I want to meet and count myself among those people who increase the world’s store of grace. Throughout my life, I wish to do continued acting and performance studies research, always asking what it means to act, what it means to be an actor.
Acting is my philosophical exploit, and philosophy, in its quest for purpose, has become my theatrical fuel. I have a penchant for the notion of contradiction. It informs my perspective on the meaning of character. Subtle distinctions between philosophical positions are akin to nuances of personality. Transformation, and the ability to emphasize and accentuate world-views, aesthetics which seem diametrically opposed, are of political concern to me. I am interested in the historicity of behavior. I see acting as an opportunity to interact with history, finding what is new/now in age­-old information.

I have traveled to many places around the world. I am always profoundly affected by assuming the plane perspective, by the dramatic spatial reorientation, by being included for a time in that which is skyward.­ Some landings are smooth, indistinguishable from flying. A solid touch down makes for a sturdy take off. Flight necessitates ground. My life as an actor, each performative experience is a place and time in which I hope and plan to take the utmost care in landing.




Performance Studies Heidegger Sartre Rilke