Confession Box: Rima Te Wiata
What can't you get enough of?
The sight of a freshly baked date scone with butter makes me keel over with longing; a box of cherries is easily eaten in one sitting. Rationing them out is impossible. I can eat three boxes in two weeks. I am not actually that gluttonous but when it comes to date scones and cherries it's kind of very difficult.
Those are quite wholesome things to scoff.
Are they? They can really pack on the pounds, that's for sure.
For you, wrath is a theatrical device. In real life, what makes you angry?
Myself. Not being able to accomplish something in rehearsal. Even today - I did quite well in rehearsal today but I made some boo-boos and that makes me do a myopic thing at the end of the day where I will sit there in a dazed tunnel going over everything I got wrong and ignoring the 90 per cent of it I got right. Sometimes mistakes can lead to really interesting things that you can incorporate. That doesn't happen that often …
Outside of acting, what makes you angry - politics, pop culture?
They don't make me so much angry as wanting to correct them. I'm not annoyed with Jacinda, for example, I think she is doing a brilliant job. I am really, really proud of our Prime Minister. I am really proud of what she has achieved and I don't know how she does it with a baby as well, it's extraordinary. No, I'm not angry with the political situation in New Zealand. I have a kind of disappointment with things overseas that are frustrating. You wish people would think the same way as you do. Whoever you disagree with truly does believe they are doing the right thing. It's one of the tragedies of being a human being.
What do you lust after?
Lust can be an object of desire or a circumstance, and for me it is lusting for the circumstance where the whole play is rehearsed and it's come together and it becomes more familiar as a whole. That is something that all actors crave and it actually drives you forward.
Do you write much?
Yes, I find it easier to write than to speak. I am an email addict; I write a lot of letters by email and I find it easier to express myself through my fingers on the keyboard because I am not using my mouth. It flies out, straight from your brain to your fingers. I am having a go at writing scripts. I write little stories. I used to love writing essays at high school. I prefer it if there is a test, like if someone says, "I want you to write a story about blah blah." I find it easier if I have a deadline and a subject to write about. The things I come up with are often things I want to talk about anyway and they are more complicated. I get a bit lost.
Is it difficult to make the switch between theatre and television work?
The challenge of theatre work is that it is all in one go, nobody can stop you once you've started and you've got to deliver the script with the same precision every night. Television seems to be a bit more improvisational, there is a spontaneity. I actually prefer doing more difficult things because you get a bigger sense of reward at the end. With a play, you can't rest on your laurels because you have to do it again tomorrow night. Actors will think about it all day and can't wait to get to the theatre. You can get a bit butterfly-y sometimes and you'd rather just keep doing it than stop doing it.
You have been performing your whole life. How has the feeling of it changed over time?
One of the joys of being a young player is that everything is a mystery. You have absolutely no idea about a show, all you know is that you are playing a part and you are waiting for the director to tell you what to do. As you get older you know how to examine a play and you have your own take on it and you are discussing that with the director. You have to really watch your arrogance level. Your job is to further the play, it's not to say, "I wish so and so would do blah blah." We haven't got anyone like that in this play, thank goodness. You have to focus on your own journey.
That sounds like "stay in your own lane".
Stay in your own lane, don't tread on other people's tasks. You have to trust the people you're working with. - Eleanor Black
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* Rima Te Wiata stars in Auckland Theatre Company's production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, on until September 26.