On Playing Natasha ~ by Kathryn Aboya

Kathryn plays Natasha in the SKG short film "Home Away"
Kathryn plays Natasha in the SKG short film “Home Away”

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The beauty of playing Natasha [Home Away] was that I was able to portray a woman who was suffering from the immaturity and betrayal of her husband (whether perceived or real) and the consequences and repercussions of living in a world where a woman’s value is considered to depreciate with time, similar to the purchase of a new car. It was very confronting as an actress, being single and childless, to face what could potentially be my future. The saddest part is that neither the female nor the male want this in a relationship; it’s just the natural progression of things.

I wanted to convey the pain and frustration that rips a family apart when one partner decides to no longer step up to the next level required to make things work. It also gave me a chance to see things from the male character’s perspective – with the help of our very generous director [Jason Armstrong] I was able to realize that the woman is not the only one suffering – however the man generally chooses to go it alone. He makes himself an island, preferring not to share the torturous parts of his psyche, favoring the masculine option of being ‘strong’ and figuring it out on his own. I always believe that a problem shared is a problem halved, but if you are no longer physically attracted to your partner, how do you say that without hurting both of you?

Jason always champions the female characters and that is what makes his filmography unique. He gets it. His direction is simple yet precise and effective. He truly is an actor’s director. I felt a metamorphosis take place throughout the filming and it was beautiful yet devastating to experience. To look at yourself in the mirror and realize there is nothing technically ‘wrong’ with you but you can’t actually entice your loved one any longer is simply the most depressing thing in the world. You lose hope, dignity, and your desire for life is squashed. It is the most consuming feeling and takes away all joy from your life.

The importance of keeping yourself mentally fit is paramount – Natasha taught me that one cannot let their partner perish, if you need to pull the other one out from whatever rock they’re under you must do everything to save them. That is what it means to be married. For better or for worse, through sickness and in health, I choose YOU. Anything less than utter devotion is a waste of time and a mockery of what marriage means. You must be your own best friend and your partner’s greatest cheerleader. The world is tough enough as it is, you don’t want to be fighting your partner at the same time. I believe that with the right person there are no limits to where one can go in life. A big beautiful tree grows roots over time, and communicates with others, becoming strong and powerful. The healing energy it provides is unmistakable, and so admirable.

To be in a relationship of this kind is a blessing and one of the most precious offerings on earth.

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