Jean-Paul Joguin is a French actor. He first worked in the public sector always getting involved in artistic activities. Among other things, he wrote the lyrics of ‘Gold 99’ album from the music group GOLD (→ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0DZT6XEWhk). In 1997, he really got interested in theater when his friend Jean-Claude Baudracco proposed him a role in a show. Jean-Paul mostly acted, and is still acting, in Marcel Pagnol’s plays. He also acts in films. He collaborated several times with the director Stéphane Kowalczyk in Coup de Soleil [Sunburn], 1 rue du Caussanel [1, Caussanel Road] or Du bleu au-dessus des toits [Blue above roofs]. What’s more, he interpretes Jean Ferrat’s songs. In 2014, he directed his first short film L’Algue Bleue [Blue seaweed].
Vinaya: In which plays are you currently performing?
Jean-Paul Joguin: I perform with the company theatre Les Tréteaux du Soleil [The Trestles of the Sun]. We’re going to perform in Belgium for the first time from October to December 2018 the trilogy Marius, Fanny and César in the city of Mons and at the beginning of 2019, we’ll perform in the city of Uccle La femme du boulanger [The Baker’s Wife]. At the end of November 2018, we’ll be in Switzerland to perform La fille du puisatier [The Well-Digger’s Daughter] and Jofroi. Simultaneously, I am promoting our film Bang Public, which is originally our play with Sophie Barbéro. The director, Gilles Martinez is currently planning screenings near Paris and in other towns. I also currently am performing in two other plays: Un tour du monde [A World Tour] and T’en veux du chocolat? [Do You Want Some Chocolate?].
What is your method to learn a role?
For instance, I took a small Tchekhov’s play that I certainly will perform in with a friend. So, the process is simple: I read the text two or three times to have an overview playing all the roles. Then, we meet with the team to talk about the characters. Then, I learn the text by heart. I don’t have any specific technique to remember the lines. Now, it’s automatic for me to learn a Pagnol’s text, it comes fast. If tomorrow I’m told ‘You could learn such role for such Pagnol’s play’, I would learn it faster than a Chekhov’s play for example. For our play Bang Public, it has been difficult for me. But we talk a lot about the play beforehand and we do a lot of readings. So, to sum up the steps I’m going through to learn a role are: reading, discussion about the characters, learning the text by heart and then, I have to ‘digest’ the text in order for me now to rehearse interpreting my character.
Do you hire out, a répétiteur [someone who helps the actor learn their lines by heart] or an acting coach, to help you prepare your role?
No, I don’t. But my family can help me playing opposite. And I prefer to work with people directly involved in the play. Recently, I acted for a film school during one week. Contrary to theatre, in cinema, I learn the lines at the last moment. If the director doesn’t absolutely want the actors to learn the lines to the very last comma, I don’t learn them by heart. I simply remember the global idea because at the last moment, the director will tell me ‘After all, don’t say this word, say another one…’.
Which role did you play the most on stage?
It certainly is Palisse in Marius play from Pagnol. I’ve performed it since 1999 or 2000 and I can claim that I’ve interpreted Palisse character more than 200 times. And in spite of all this performances, I don’t get tired of it. I always play it with pleasure. And then, I still discover things, with the other actors, we say ‘What if we try this and that?…’, ‘Oh yes, we never tried that…’. It’s never the same play.
Feeling like doing other projects?
I would like to put on the Chekhov’s play The Swan Song. It’s a short play that deals with an old drunkard actor who’s waking up in his dressing room, who has been very famous but who’s beginning to decline. And comes the old prompter who always supported him. There is a dialogue about actors’ degradation. And I’d like to add to The Swan Song, another Chekhov’s play more joyful in order to do a one hour show. Also, I’d like to put on the Feydeau’s play The Wedding of Barillon next year.
Thanks to Jean-Paul for this interview!
More about Jean-Paul Joguin:
His short film as a director L’Algue Bleue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqQg7dMxv_s
Trailer Bang Public (Theatre): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b69SSSzCe5c
Facebook Page Bang Public (Film): https://www.facebook.com/bangpublic/
Coup de soleil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iBwePr6_-o
1 rue du Caussanel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LAYdD3nEpA
Du bleu au-dessus des toits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyDdojAl93o&t=2151s
Humoristic video L’ultime débat politique du second tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKb1mPF5Ylg
Next publication 15 OCTOBER 2018: filmed interview Alex Lekouid PERFORMER-INTERPRETER
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