A few weeks or so back I first heard about those Stattland guided tours. Basically, they're themed tours through Bern. There's a tour guide doing the talking and the leading the visitors/tourists through Bern - and then there's an actor or an actress acting out little scenes and different characters at certain sites.

A few weeks ago I'd had my job interview with Stattland as an actor - the same evening they called me and told me I was hired. Since then, next to the other stuff like uni, work, other acting stuff, singing, etc... I've been preparing my four roles for an Einstein-themed guided tour called "Bern relativ"

The four roles are:

Mileva Einstein, née Maric, Einstein's first wife

Her spot is in front of Einstein's first room in Bern. She talks about how they met, what sacrifices she brought (she gave up her scientific work), their children, and about how their relationship degraded to the point where he made written demands to her as to how she had to deal with his laundry and his daily meals; how he wouldn't spend time with her at home, nor go out with her; how she didn't have to expect any affection from him and how she wasn't to reproach him; and how she was to be silent should he ask her to...

Gives you a rather different image of Einstein than the well-known "sticks out his tongue in photographs and looks like a cuddly fun man".

A physics student friend of the tour guide

She's one cheeky fella... Chews her apple and at the same time "explains" Einstein's special theory of relativity with the help of said apple and a hypothetical worm in the apple...

Maya Einstein, Albert Einstein's sister

At first she's just really pissed at the tour guide's insistence that Einstein was not exactly the best of students in grammar school. So she tirades at the guide and at the tourists, explaining how Albert only had a bit of a problem with accepting authorities ;) And what a great autodidact he was. When asked to tell more about her brother, she softens visibly and talks about how similar they were, how they often played music together, etc. Then she demonstrates how he lectured (badly) and complains about his, er, (lack of) sense of dress (barefooted in green flowered slippers). Still, she's visibly proud of her brother.

Maurice Solovine, a friend of Einstein's

Has a lovely French accent, a black moustache, a penchant for beer (and for comparing and contrasting beer to light). He tells the audience about the "Akademie Olympia" - a reading and discussion group of Einstein's in which he and his friends discussed scientific texts and went on excursions. Allegedly Einstein insisted that before the talking started some eating had to be done.

So, today was my first day performing those four roles in front of an audience. I was dead nervous, but once I got started the nervousness didn't show. I actually had a great time. And it seems, so did the audience. They clapped after every little performance, which apparently is not exactly that usual.

R., "my" tour guide, told me afterwards that I'd done a great job - which came as a huge relief for me. I intend to further work on my roles, but it's great to know that I have a good basis to expand from. This tour was in German, but soon I'll also do them in English. (So, should you ever be in Bern, call Stattland and book a "Bern relativ" tour with them ;))

It's different to act on the street than to act on stage. For one, you never have dress rehearsals or a director to give you feedback or whatever. You practice your parts, maybe enact them in front of friends, but, the first time you'll actually do it in the streets, is in front of a real audience. There is no safety net in the form of a prompter, and while the audience may be captive and attentive, you have to deal with environment noise like cars driving past or heavy machinery ripping up the streets. --- And, yet, I absolutely love it.

After it was over I was exhausted and sweated through and through (running through Bern, changing costumes in quiet corners of the city does that to you ;)). R. and I went for a drink and chat, then I went home and first of all crashed and slept.

P.S. Best compliment I got was one of the audience members asking me if I went to acting school in Bern... (I'm an English and math student ;))