A Little Script Soapboxing

19 Dec

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Now onto scene breakdowns and work-throughs. 

…Ran lines today, several times then hit the books again in more research.  Mostly picking apart reviews of other performances and seeing if there is any info there to help me…better than popping in the film, but still informative in opening up your options. 

I don’t want to accidentally ape another person’s work, so never like watching other versions while working on a show.  Sometimes the critics come in handy though…not necessarily for their specific opinion on what works where, but more HOW they write about the piece, the theme, and what they think the underlying tones are at any given moment.  Essentially what the Director has shown them as a whole, is what I wanna see.

…Lots of layers in this one, so lots of room to make a lot of different choices.

…My favorite argument they all seem to be throwing around is “Why now? What keeps this 30’s show relevant to today?”

Apparently in a world where gay marriages are now taking place with welcome, and it’s “okay” to live a life of your choosing, this show is supposed to be in some way out-dated. I say, “Pardon me?!” for a variety of reasons…pointing to not only all the OTHER states in the Nation wherein your private life choices are NOT sanctioned as “acceptable” by the majority of the population, but I ALSO point to the rampant rash of social networking,bullying and ostracising, pushing people to the point of mental incapacities with violent reactions.

…There are parts of the script (mostly the language) that are dated, sure. But there is nothing outdated about the theme or content. I keep going over and over it again, reminding myself of it, and why this was written. The message needs to be clear at all times. And it doesn’t get any more clear than in a directly quoted monologue from the end of Act III. Still gives me chills every time I hear Marty say it. The weight the words carry, and the ripple of it’s truth at that point, should make people legitimately shiver, every night:

“…You told us that night that you had to do what you did. Now you have to do this. A public apology and money paid and you can sleep again. You and all those who always know how right they are. What’s somebody else’s life to you? A way to show your righteousness. And if you happen to be wrong, then you can always put it right some other day. Get out of here and be noble on the street.”

…If you take them, not just as words printed on a page, but say them…out loud…with all the conviction you can light underneath them…it is a devastating truth. Doing without thinking. Condemning without license. My convictions outweigh yours. Safer to assume the worst. Difference is a sin. You are clearly sick. My beliefs are more Holy than yours, And IF…IF I am wrong…IF it isn’t so…IF enough people think it’s more humane to deal with this another way…well then, an apology will suffice, because we are (after all) only human. Better to be safe than sorry. No harm, no foul.

Right?

We’ve all seen what happens. And we’ve seen it enough time to know the price paid when these seeds of hate and judgement take root and begin to grow.

Hypocrisy is a plague, which has only one cure: a conscious decision to stop it. We all do it to some capacity. We all have the power to eliminate the weed before it starts to grow. But for some reason…especially today…we feel it a special privilege to scream our conviction at full vocal capacity and never mind about the people we may hurt, or the devastation left in our wake. Who the hell gives us these rights? A Constitution, some would say. Legal tape.

I get it.

…But how do you explain those actions (and their repercussions) to a child coming home crying from another bullying and bout of rampant rumors…who may (at some point) become so ostracised because of them, that tragic consequences seem their only way of getting out of it?

Maybe it’s just me, but I love when art puts a new emphasis on an old idea. I love the immediacy of the moment of live performance. I love that every night we will perform this script and people will squirm in their seats in uncomfortable inability to turn the channel, or press pause, or take a bathroom break to help ease the intensity of the situation.

They will have to sit there.

They will have to watch and listen to it.

They will have to deal with how the words touch them personally…whether as victims or as persecutors.

And, they will have to witness what comes of it.

…Maybe that is what is really needed, here. In a world where attention spans last five seconds, and nobody “has the time to deal with this right now,” we’re gonna force you to. I’m betting, personally, there won’t be a dry eye in the place.

Just embrace it, guys. We’ll be a hot mess too. You won’t be alone.

~D

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