Time Out

1 Aug

glasgow-map
Hello.

I am here on a self-imposed “time out.”

…In my second hour of script study for the night, I’ve become revved up to such a level of frustration that I want to tear that sunofabitch to shreds. 

And I kinda need it still. 

Like, we haven’t even started blocking yet. 

…So, instead of dousing it with alcohol and lighting it a-flame, while watching the ashes crumple into a mighty heap…I’ve decided to take a break and blog.

It’s the “healthier” choice, I think.

…Also, better in product preservation.

Listen: this isn’t m’first night of work on this thing.  I may be behind where I originally set myself to be at this point (aren’t I always?)…but I’ve nailed two of the three dialects to the ground, am off book for all of the German (with the bulk of my nonsense monologues) and several scenes of the English.  I had skipped the Scottish on purpose, you see.  For two weeks. First, in order to get the German where I wanted it, and then: to make an easier segue going from English work, so at least we are dealing with somewhat the same mouth shapes and sounds scenarios.

…Which brings us to today.

In my head, I was gonna be off freakin’ book entirely and halfway into character physical work by now.  In reality, I’ve got a truly terrible German dialect (as it should be), and a hoity-toity English Finishing School “Call The Midwife” thing going.  I’ve slapped the worst of the bulked monologues into memory slot submission, and shoved “Gwendolen” from my consciousness to allow a new kind of bratty Brit to take her place.

…Things could be a whole lot worse, is the point I’m trying to make to me, right now.

…Only all I can see at the moment, is the three scenes of Scottish I’ve been working on…all fucking night long. 

I am in Glasgow hell. 

…It sounds like every place except Glasgow. And mostly like Newark.

I haven’t been so incredibly dialect-frustrated since I learned that north west Lancashire one for “Accrington Pals,’ forever ago. 

…Of course, what I should take from that was the fact that I eventually totally nailed it.  But instead, all I can think of was the sheer-terror-panic just before I finally did.

…And how it all just sorta “happened” one day.  With the speed of a snap.  A switch flipped and I “got it.”  I still dunno why or how.  And up to that point, (and since) I’ve never met an accent I couldn’t blitz with fifteen minutes of study time.  Dutch. Swedish. Italian. French. Irish. Russian. German. Canadian. Any mass variety of English. Any mass variety of American.  To me: it’s like music.  I hear it done well, by a native.  I listen to the musicality of the cadence.  And just like learning a song, I learn the accent.

It’s usually that simple.

…Except today. 

Being mostly Latina, I’ve never been called upon to pull out a Scottish accent before this.  Like the other more white-bred ones, I thought I’d simply slap it on when and if I needed it.  Because prepping for an all-inclusive what-if accent arsenal for a character actor is insane. I have no idea how many I even know. I’ve played just about everything except what I actually am, at this point. 

…So, silly me, I thought: “whelp, I’ll put a half hour in on this one, and I’ll be good to go.”

Only I ain’t.

Which is just STUPID.

…It’s only Scottish, for shit-slingin’-sake.

…Yet, here I sit, frustrated beyond belief, as I keep trying to prevent the width of it from sliding all the way to the back of the throat like that Lancashire I know, and not go too crazy with the cut-off endings so the lilt doesn’t slip into Irish, and the double “O’s” don’t float into some weird kind of Canadian, while the “R’s” are tapped just right and and not wandering lazily off into French ones.

It’s just too damn much happening at the same time ‘tween the circuits of my brain.  Maybe I know too many fucking accents.  And now it’s like every cocking one of them, that side of the pond, got together in my head and started to have a party.

…Who invited these people, even?!? 

I sure as hell didn’t!

…And I wish they’d go home already! I have work to do…and they’re just freakin’ me the fuck out right now!

(beat.)

So, yes.

…I’m really glad I took that “time out”…

~D

2 Responses to “Time Out”

  1. Puff August 2, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Breath, and drink alcohol of the accents you are trying to emulate. Booze always helps!!!!

  2. Carolyn Cook August 2, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    Oh, the agony. I know. But you will get it, lassie!

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