A Conversation with Brittany Inge
February 1st, 2018
Brittany Inge speaks to Horizon Theatre about her current role as Vinette in Ché Walker’s production of The Ballad of Klook and Vinette.
You’re starring in Ché Walker’s play, The Ballad of Klook and Vinette at Horizon Theatre through February 18. Could you describe what the play is about?
This play is about love, fate, destiny and karma. It beautifully captures the good, bad and ugly that comes with trying to outrun your personal history.
You’re playing Vinette. Could you describe your character?
I always describe Vinette as a caged bird. She’s afraid of the size, depth, and beauty of her own wings and even more afraid to spread those wings and have them be seen by others. She’s witty and feisty; a lover of language and a diamond in the rough.
So how do you go about discovering this character? And do you identify with her at all?
I allowed Vinette’s language and personal history to guide me in discovering and developing the character. I identify with her in many ways— as a young Black woman, as a fellow artist/creator, as someone who has fallen in love, as someone who has experienced personal and professional disappointment— she’s a very relatable character. And in the ways that I don’t personally identify with her, I had fun melding my own experiences with the backstory that was created for Vinette both on and off the page.
What’s it like working with director and playwright Ché Walker?
Ché is brilliant and he won’t ever let you forget it! *laughs* No but seriously, it has been a huge learning experience working with Ché and I have benefited from being a sponge. Whenever a playwright directs their own work, the hired actors are always met with the challenge of rising to meet the vision that was in the playwright’s mind before we were ever thought of. It has taken a lot of hard work (that I’m very grateful for) to get our show to the level that matches the vision inside of Ché’s mind.
Could you describe the rehearsal process for The Ballad of Klook and Vinette? In comparison to Blackberry Daze?
This rehearsal process was a lot more intimate than any other project I’ve worked on, so far. Not only because it’s a cast of 2 people— but also because, the subject matter of the show is such that it requires you to dive deep inside yourself to reveal maybe some lesser known truths within the work. There were no larger-than-life characters to hide behind, which has been the case in other shows I’ve done— this process came down to pure and simple truth-telling.
What was it like working in a small cast of two?
More fun than I ever imagined— but that’s only thanks to a great partner. It takes a lot of mutual respect and trust to get through a piece this intimate.
For any aspiring actors and musicians out there, what advice would you give them?
If you want to make a career out of being an artist, don’t treat it like a hobby. Work harder for yourself than you’ve ever worked for anyone else and commit to the journey. Every path on the journey won’t be perfectly cleared but, like my Mom always tells me: “as long as you stay on the field, you’re still in the game”.