The one-person show is a tricky format, Felder says.
“There is this sense that one must act with a capital A, and the secret of these things — and it’s a very simple secret, but it’s very hard to do — is to never let go of your audience. Always talk to them,” he says. “You must always talk to them and never let go, and not start doing this internal kind of self-indulgent acting as if you’re creating something. It doesn’t work, and they lose you.”
It’s been fun to help someone else discover the right path, says Felder, who has a codirector, Trevor Hay, shepherding the production when Felder is performing his own work.
“It’s not ensemble acting where you’re talking to somebody else onstage,” Felder says. “The audience is your other actor, and you have to be absolutely in tune with them. If you feel like you’re acting, you’re making the biggest mistake possible.”
Golabek’s show premiered at the Geffen in April, and a one-month run was eventually extended through August. Boston is the second engagement, and Golabek hopes to keep it going, with a dream of playing the same stage in London where her mother made her own concert debut.
“The thing I tried to do the most was just go out there and speak from the heart,” Golabek says, “so I would connect with my mom, think about what she’s gone through, try to inhabit her skin and feel her losses. Many times I got overcome, and it was hard and it continues to be. I know that’s part of the process. You have to keep reconnecting.”
Joel Brown can be reached at email@example.com.