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Thatonestranger

How am I supposed to do this!

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Thatonestranger

I am in a play at school and my character is supposed to fake sneeze.  I feel so uncomfortable doing that.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to power through it and not let it bother me?

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oOMariusOo

Phew, I put myself in your shoes, I would feel uncomfortable too. For my part, when I do theater and the teacher asks me to play a character or a scene that makes me really uncomfortable, I say no to him right away. Or I try to discuss it with him, try to find an alternative. Now, it's true that in a school, you don't always have a choice. :unsure:

Usually, I would tend to advise discussing it with your theater teacher, telling him that it does not suit your character or even come up with another idea. But here the subject can be delicate for us. Talking about sneezing with a teacher is not at all pleasant. If there really is no other way for you to escape, I would say minimizing the scene might be a good thing. So try to release a little "atchu" without consequence and without impact on the stage. So that it does not remain too much in the memories of the public.

Does your drama teacher ask you for a particular sneeze ?

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Thatonestranger

No he hasn’t asked for anything particular.  It is only once and i would feel very uncomfortable talking with him about it so I guess I’ll just have to do it.

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oOMariusOo

Unless someone else has another idea, you can talk to them about it or downplay the scene with a small "atchu" without consequence, it's up to you to see what bothers you the least. Maybe there is a way to replace this sneezing with a cough for example ? There like that, I have no other ideas to advise you, can you tell us a little about the scene ? We can perhaps find other ideas to replace it.

In any case, I wish you that everything goes well. ^_^

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Roza

I remember when I was a child we would stage Le Petit Prince and there was this girl that would play the Rose and who had to fake a sneeze at some point. Just like oOMariusOo suggests, she would do a small "atchu" and that was perfectly fine for the case of course! But I remember how fake I thought it sounded and I kept thinking every time that when I get home I'll practice how I would do it if I were in her shoes! Of course I never did cause I always ended up feeling too uncomfortable to do it even by myself 😅 

Anyway, I don't think anything too realistic is expected from you anyway, so just try to think that this is like the most insignificant part of your role and only you will be paying attention to it! For the rest of the people, it's just as if you had to take a step to the left, no-one will actually bother much about it... and I guess it will make you feel more comfortable if you minimize the sound or facial expression. Good luck!

 

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Comfortandstuff

Oh yes, I have had to deal with this MULTIPLE times as an actor... In fact, I remember the first time I had to do a scene that involved sneezing. It was my freshman year of college, and I was playing the lead female in “Much Ado About Nothing”. There’s a scene where the character has a cold, and sneezes actually quite a bit (depending on the director). I was SO nervous when I got cast in that role and read that scene because my PARENTS were going to be there. I’m cringing thinking about the thought now. 

Ultimately, what helped rid my fear is the thought that sneezing is completely normal to literally everybody else. Nobody but fetishists bat an eye at a scene like that, they won’t remember it, they won’t feel the same way you do (awkward) during that scene, and it’s literally nothing strange to the audience at all- so don’t be nervous or feel weird. There’s absolutely no reason to. That’s the same thing that helped me get rid of my mental block for sneezing in front of people, as well as blessing others. 

You’ll be fine! Remember- it’s not a big deal to anybody but you, so don’t allow yourself to make a big deal of it! :) Best of luck with you show. 

-A

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MeForever

If it's possible you could make your character stifle the sneeze? That way you wouldn't have to act out the sound.

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