Azuma Yukishiro (Winter Troupe)
Lead actor in the Winter Troupe’s 3rd play, Nocturnality
Secondary lead actor in the Winter Troupe’s 6th play, Risky Game
Secondary lead actor in the mixed troupe play, Yin Yang Midnight
“Acting makes me feel a kind of happiness that I wouldn’t want to exchange for anything else. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of it.”
What was the biggest change in your life when you joined Mankai Company?
My previous job was mostly about empathizing with people’s emotions, especially sadness. And before I knew it, I developed a habit of suppressing my own. At first, I wasn’t aware of it and I thought it wasn’t a big deal. But when I learned to express my emotions through acting, I felt like a burden was lifted off my shoulder. It was like magic. It may be embarrassing to cry your heart out, laugh out loud, or scream in anger, but it’s totally fine when you’re acting. So for those who are stressed because of work, family, or relationships, I suggest going to an acting workshop once in a while.
What are your strengths as an actor?
The director sometimes mentions how I have a unique aura. Though the down side of this in stage acting is that I tend to stand out even when I shouldn’t be. And this is why I make sure to pay attention to my stage presence aside from my acting itself. Hmm, what else…as one of the adults, I can say that I’m more experienced; though this is not necessarily about acting but about life in general. I don’t mean to brag, but I consider myself more mature and experienced compared to the younger actors. I often find it easy to relate and empathize with the roles I play. I didn’t expect all those things I went through would be useful in acting. And this is what makes acting interesting for me.
What makes you feel glad that you became part of the Winter Troupe?
I realize I’m glad to be part of the troupe whenever we drink together. I like how alcohol makes people honest and open. (chuckles) Alcohol has saved us countless times, especially during our 3rd play called “Nocturnality.” We were afraid of showing our vulnerable side to one another. This is especially true in my case. I was so afraid that I distanced myself from the troupe. But at some point, we ended up drinking together while having a heart-to-heart talk. Most of what we talked about were things that we didn’t know about each other. But interestingly, there were also things that we already knew even though the person who shared the story thought no one knew about it yet. After spending a whole night drinking and talking about our problems and worries, I learned something important — We may think we know someone, but we actually don’t. We may think we don’t know someone, but we actually do. (chuckles) Sounds contradictory, right? But this holds true for the Winter Troupe and I believe it hasn’t changed until now. Our troupe actually finds comfort in that kind of relationship.
For you, what is acting?
For me, acting means connecting with someone. When the audience reacts as they see an actor deliver his lines with emotions, an invisible connection is formed. Life may be tough but being connected with someone would always make you feel happy. It’s a kind of happiness that you wouldn’t want to exchange for anything else. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of acting…Now that made me sound like those theater nerds.
Theater nerds: Tasuku and Tsumugi
On play titles: Title translations from A3! Wiki (yaycupcake) were used for easy reference in case you want to look them up.
Special thanks to Terumi!