Gyuri Sarossy, University of Nottingham alumnus and former resident of Harrington Drive, is now an established actor. He spent his lunch break talking to Impact about life on tour with Cheek by Jowl’s production of ‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE…
A day in the life of an actor very much differs, depending on if you’re working or not! On tour we usually get a touring allowance and get a list of digs or hotels where you can stay in each place you’ll be performing. With this production it is constantly a work in progress. We do our tech runs, important for each new venue and because this performance has a lot of movement. After each show we get notes from our director and then before we leave for the night we have to go and ice down; that’s how much of a physical piece it is.
Did you always want to be an actor?
I went to university when I was 18, doing French and German but then realised I should have been doing English. I was such a young age as well and so took a year out, came back and started an English degree. I got quite involved with the New Theatre; I acted and directed. It was in my final year of university that I decided I wanted to be an actor. From university, I went to the Bristol Old Vic drama school. I purposely looked for two year courses because I had to fundraise the money myself.
How did you find the rehearsal process for ‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE?
We only had 3 weeks so it was quite an intense process, especially as TIS PITY is a highly choreographed, ensemble piece. The movements have to be sharp. We had to learn an existing production as it had already been on tour but because we were a new cast it was still quite exploratory.
How do you deal with things going wrong on stage?
You just need to move on. Sometimes you don’t have a good night but the audience won’t know unless you show them. If your mates saw the show and you go to the bar afterwards and start complaining about how bad you thought you were, it’s actually quite insulting to them because they’ve had a good night.
What’s the best thing about your job?
You never get bored. It’s very uncertain what you’ll be doing a year down the line and that can put people off, but for me I love the possibility that comes with that. Nothing is ever the same. On tour as well, there’s always another day, another show and you get really close to the company. Getting to travel and visit different places is great. For me, being in Nottingham feels quite nostalgic.
Is there a downside?
Yes, on tour you are away from home for long periods of time, not staying in the best of places, travelling a lot. It can be tiring.
How have audiences reacted to this play?
We’ve had quite a range of audiences, all have been really attentive. We actually did have one woman who fainted once, not from what was happening on stage but from what she had imagined was happening.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to be an actor?
It helps to have a good agent and the start you get in the industry really matters. Start building up your work because it is a competitive industry and in TV especially it is more celebrity led; everybody wants to be famous. My drama teacher once said ‘Don’t become an actor unless you don’t have a choice.’ Of course you do have a choice but I mean make sure it’s the only thing you really want to do. I’m quite militant on this; you have to do something you like. I remember standing in the dinner queue in Derby Hall and meeting people doing something like Urban Planning, which is fine if you love Urban Planning, but some just looked really miserable because they were just doing it for the money prospects or because their parents had forced them to do it. You have to enjoy what you do.