Columbus Makes Art Presents Jarrod Turnbull on the Acting Process
Jarrod Turnbull first started with Evolution Theatre Company as an acting apprentice during its 2019 season. Since then he has performed in several productions, including The View Upstairs, Who Killed Joan Crawford? and Cabaret, for which he was also assistant director. He’ll be performing Evolution’s 2021 season opening production, From White Plains by Michael Perlman, May 13-22 at The Abbey Theatre of Dublin. We chatted with Jarrod about theater, acting and life.
Mark: Describe your art and your creative process.
Jarrod: I am currently working as an actor for Evolution Theatre Company. Before rehearsals begin, I do as much preparation as possible. Utilizing my available time and energy. My preparation begins by simply memorizing the text and then I proceed to learn as much as possible about the character I’m playing in order to make strong and specific choices. I also try to identify their backstory: what has happened in their lives, past, present and future, that make them behave and tick the way they do. Once I’m in rehearsals, I let all of my preparation go, expand and grow as the story and the character expands. It is extremely important to be present, in the moment, with the other cast members. Because acting is really living truthfully under imaginary circumstances.
Mark: How do you refine / expand your artistic process?
Jarrod: As much as I can financially manage, I try to be in a class or workshop. Currently, I am studying at Atlantic Acting School. I also study with a brilliant acting coach and voice teacher. I always try to thrust myself into challenging projects, as I tend to get bored quite easily.
Mark: How long have you been acting, and what is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself along the way?
Jarrod: I’ve been acting for about six years. The most important thing I’ve learned is that I tend to have an unrealistic expectation of myself to always be perfect in every moment. I’ve learned that each day is different, and it is crucial to cut myself slack every once in a while.
Mark: What role are you most proud of?
Jarrod: In a script analysis class, I played Joe Harper in a scene from Angels in America. I was incredibly proud of the work I did on that scene.
Mark: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Jarrod: Trust your gut because you know yourself better than anyone else.
Mark: What’s the best advice you feel you can give?
Jarrod: Always have something in your life that you are looking forward to. Big or small.
Mark: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?Jarrod: The increasing number of opportunities for artists of all strengths and interests.
See Jarrod with Evolution Theatre Company in From White Plains (May 13-22 at The Abbey Theatre of Dublin), the area premiere of this important and thought-provoking drama. Full show information available at evolutiontheatre.org.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting and advancing the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art. Learn more about local artists, organizations, public art and events at ColumbusMakesArt.com.