Cherene Snow is an acting teacher when she isn’t performing herself, giving her a unique insight on how actors mine their hearts and their psyches on stage. “Acting is believing and acting is reacting,” Snow said. “So when someone else is speaking you must be present and react to what is being said.”
During the art photo shoot, Snow performed about two minutes of Small Mouth Sounds along with her other cast members, a part of the play that they had not yet done. It is a moment when the offstage Teacher, voiced by Orville Mendoza, gets angry at the group. The characters are sitting in a row, simply listening to the Teacher speak. The raw emotion that crossed Snow’s face was palpable. She glanced at her partner Joan, played by Socorro Santiago, a look that carried the complexity of a shared life.
Snow shared what was going on in her mind as she sat and listened completely. “He was blasting us for our bad behavior,” Snow said. “So, you have that parent who is chastising you.”
Her thoughts then turned to the struggle her character, Judy, is facing in her own life. Snow’s thought and intention then move outward, considering the Teacher’s words and the pain that brought him to cry for help.
“So then mortality sets in. When mortality sets in, everything becomes completely different and it is no longer about me,” Snow said. “When we came in, it was about each of us individually. It isn’t any longer because the person is teaching us about being silent needs a teacher now. We haven’t been there for him as he’s been there for us.”
All that is happening in Snow’s mind in a minute and a half of powerful stage time.