As a mother, and an environmentalist, and also someone with a healthy sense of scepticism surrounding modern medicine, I have to say that some roles really push me to breaking point. Last year we did Andy-Boyd Snebber’s production of ‘Gnats’, the one about the farmers in the midwest experiencing an unusual plague of crop-eating insects, and I had to play the part of a doting wife. I was grateful for a speaking role, but it really clashed with my beliefs that women should take an active role in family affairs rather than simply playing a supportive role and crying when overcome with financial struggles.
Now I’m reading the script for ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Margarine’, and I’m wondering how I’m going to play a lady from a Frankston pest control agency. The sanctity of life is something I take very seriously, and I don’t generally agree with pest controllers and their methods, plus I feel like those chemicals they use are perhaps a little bit harmful to the environment and children, but now I’m portraying a character who simply loves getting rid of pests. True, she volunteers for an experiment where she falls through a wormhole into an alternate Frankston, where she learns that pests can be removed with relative ease, in a more humane fashion than the fire and laser approach in her home dimension, but I’m still slightly apprehensive about the direction of her character development. She’s supposed to go from an absolute sadist to really understanding the importance of proper and humane pest control, but I’m wondering if I can talk to the director, see if I can’t alter the script to give her a monologue about the importance of taking mice into the woods for a full and wonderful life instead of laying traps, all of that.
I’m not making sweeping criticisms of how they do termite control, Frankston based experts probably know what they’re doing with all the white ants in that area. Just saying, though, if I can manipulate art to say what I want it to say, then I most definitely will.