Script analysis: Turned in my Ibsen “a Doll House” analysis. I feel pretty good about it. Nine hours this weekend just on this. Hopefully, I’ve done it with as much panache as I did the ‘Tempest’ script. I’ll have to check that out. I’m learning a lot about this process…yes, it’s grueling, but hey, this is the work. And the script becomes so rich and it’s fun to see how and why parts work together, to get into the psyche of characters like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, searching for motivations, justifications, actions, reactions…the facts, mam! I titled this ‘Why Stop With Crazy When You Can Get Even Crazier’ because:
I am completely out of cash. Literally, I am hand-to-mouth for the day’s food, tank on empty, bills beginning to arrive, and a bit too busy to make art or catch a job. I mean, for pure survival sake, yeah, I could quit college and head down to the Taco Bell. Or maybe since the Affordable Health Care Act is so replete with troubles, I could get a job in insurance. Yeah right. Not gonna’ happen. I’ll be that guy on the street corner with a banjo and a cup. I might be the monkey with a hat if it comes down to it. So when the challenges are this profound and the resources this few, a guy like me says, LET’S DO A PLAY! YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME FOR IT, AND YOU’RE FRIGHTENED BY THE RESPONSIBILITY. YEAH, LET’S BE A LEAD IN THE ACROSSTOWN REP’S CHRISTMAS PLAY. Oh well, can’t be helped. As Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.” But God bless, I need some fucking spinach. Hosted my show, The Reverend Angeldust’s Tabernacle of Hedonism with your Host, Tom Miller last night. (I get free beer at the show. Actually, that’s all I get, plus the joy of experimental theatre.) Had a great group in from Atlanta, the multi-talented R_Garcia. They were amazing. I wanted to hand them a couple-hundred bucks. I think they sold merch and got about thirty. But like me, they know the ropes. In this country, we want our art, music, and entertainment for free or cheap. It’s a sad state of affairs, and I adopt this as my fight. In France, if you are a musician, entertainer, actor, poet, FUCK! If you’re a MIME, you get treated as if you are the top of the food chain. I’d like to see that happen here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Here are the journals:
ACTING FOR DIRECTORS:
Today was the day I performed the Danton’s Death monologue (which I quite like, by the way). I did one or two lines out of order and left a line out, but nobody noticed. Hit all my points, and I think in a way, I knocked it out of the ball park. My director for this one used different staging styles (a thrust stage, and then she had the audience set up across a corner of the room and here was a corner-performance). This made our monologues stand out and helped the actors feel fresh with I think gave great energy. Everyone that read today was on top of the game. Dr. Young commented as such at the conclusion of class. Great relief to have that delivered, but also great joy to have that monologue in my arsenal. When I audition for the MFA program, which will be one of the hits.
Today, we work shopped the back-half of my scene from Venus in Fur. Seemed like the overall criticism centered on raising the stakes, getting deeper, understanding the complexities of both characters (and they are complex, even in this short scene.) We also got our portfolios back. Good marks on my journal, but I’m a writer so that’s expected. Guess I did not quite get the message about the purposes/organization-of-process for the items we’ve been handed and the outside work we’ve done. I’ll have to talk to Professor Hamilton about this. It was a criticism leveled generally at the class (Prof. Hamilton took a share of responsibility for not being as specific about what was expected.) Ha ha…all this talk about actor’s specificity…God I hope she’s not reading this. She made a good point…what if I was wanting to go back to incorporate some Stanislavsky into a piece I was doing. What would I find looking through my portfolio? A few handouts strewn about, or would it be categorized and easy to find, containing elements of my process, how I used it, discoveries and the like. This will be some work.
I have to apologize to myself for not being more diligent on the journal. These multi-day entries are indicative of the demands of college when the going gets hot and heavy. Lots of projects, plays, analysis, reviews, reaction papers, it’s getting, as the kids say, “Cray cray.” That means, crazy. I can report that Alexander pops up in my head every day. (I just now allowed my posture to ease into a more comfortable and proper position. Funny.) Working on the face-squint. Gotta’ ask about that. I see it a lot in people my age. I believe it is stress related. I’m talking about squinting the eyes for no apparent reason. I’m squinting right now… (Maybe from staring down a bright computer screen for hours and days.) But if I set my mind to it, I can easily just let it go and my face relaxes. It was such a reality, this squint deal, that my director in Acting for Directors class actually mentioned it. “Tom, can you not squint? It reads like your trying too hard, and we can’t see your eyes.” So I tried that morning, and it was almost impossible to let go of. INTERJECT: Here’s Josh Price (actor in the current Hipp play) and he wants me to tell our Professor how the contact improve work helped him immensely in a recent other play he was in. Just writing this down so I remember. So these last few days have been pressure-filled all-consuming and yet Alexander is there and gives me a moment to pause, breath, relax, free-up, because otherwise, I’d probably be in some stress-care center babbling Shakespeare (the Tempest, no doubt).
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