Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ramble On

D.N.R. Anybody familiar with those three letters? Do Not Resuscitate. That is the latest status of the play. The female lead has dropped out. That was the last straw. You know the one. It broke the camel's back. No sense beating a dead camel, uh, horse as they say. It's about as dead as it gets. Except for some of the lines that I was especially fond of still running 'round the old brain pan. Those too will recede, only to be thought of in the oddest of moments. The one that sticks with me most right now goes something like; "There is no present or future. Only the past happening again and again, now. You can't get away from it". I imagine a few of us have memories we can't escape. Good or ill. Usually ill though, huh? I mean in my experience people have a hard time keeping the cream rising to the top. It's the times there is no cream that are remembered. Those are the times we let degrade our relationships, our memories.

The catch phrase among a few of the actors was "I'm not having fun". I can understand that sentiment. Acting, using your creative energy should be fun. There were so many things working against this production though. So many things gone wrong. I don't think fun really fit into the quadratic formula, the iambic pentameter, the Pythagorean Theorem of the whole thing. Sometimes the fun is in perfecting your craft. Sometimes though it's just not fun.

On a personal level I had a hard time with this production for much of the struggle. I was not able to keep up the optimism of the director or even some of the other cast for very long.

I was originally cast in a much smaller roll which was great. I knew all along that if I got a part it would most probably be a smaller role. One scene. I hadn't done anything in years and years so anything would've been good. Anyway I wasn't what the director was looking for for any of the other roles open to me. The person originally cast in the part I ended up with was a plain ol' no show from the beginning. The director decided to trust me with giving the performance he knew I could even though I wasn't the physical type he had envisioned. Then there was the original leading lady. She dropped out two weeks into production. A family medical thing. Luckily we had an understudy. There were still two parts uncast though. Finally we found someone for the last major role and rehearsals really got going. Only they didn't really. Each rehearsal seemed like we had never done it before. My first two scenes happened to come toward the end Acts I & II. It wasn't too bad sitting around for an hour and a half before I went on. At first. Until the interruptions started. There would be more discussion and arguing than actual rehearsing. As time went on I would be ready to make my entrance and inevitably there would be kerfuffle on stage and I wouldn't make it on. Then when I did finally get on my concentration was shot. Not blaming anybody, that's just the way it was. Sometimes you just have to soldier on.

Using your imagination and adding yourself and your thoughts to someone's written words is what acting is all about. You get to interpret words and actions in the surroundings of a scene. That's your job. One must balance that with what ever vision a director has for a scene or the message of the play in general. Whether you agree or not. Oh sure there is a give and take to the process. Compromises on some line interpretations, blocking moves, etc. I disagreed with the director on his choice for the tone of my biggest scene. Something that big though there was no real compromise. I mentally shrugged my shoulders and tried to give him what he wanted.

Well, I suppose I've ended up beating a dead horse huh?

Remember the part before about the line running through my head? There is no present or future? Some would say that all there is is the present. Live in the moment. But take away our memories of the past and our hopes for the future and you take away our humanness. Hopefully our actions now are based on lessons learned. Hopefully our actions now will positively impact our future. Without hope for the future we're all just plodding along for nothing.

Now that i think about it I guess really it's a pretty fine line. Remember the past and what made us us, but don't dwell on it or be afraid to learn and grow from it. Embrace the future, but not so much we forget the effects of our actions now.

I'm just rambling now I think. I'll let you go for now and come up with something better next time. Promise

I'm pullin' for ya.

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