Communist Garbo, a-la Python, With Peter Lorre

7 Aug

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All hail Britannia!

…This evening was spent as Miss Pamela Edwards, the bratty English-finishing-school-grad-turned-reluctant-hostage of a wanted murderer.

…Covering election debates, with road trips through the bumpy highlands, while handcuffed to my kidnapper, we had just reached the rented hotel room bed, when (like the best episode cliffhangers of anything you’ve watched, ever)…the scene was called for the night to be picked up as a “part two” added to all the other intimate scenes being blocked on Saturday.

Until props arrive next rehearsal week, we are in makeshifts. A 1940’s gentleman’s tie, wrapped ’round our wrists, served as our cuffs, a collapsing music stand: our happy accident-to-be-copied-with-real-prop lectern. Beds made of benches…and every canned sound effect, being live foleyed on stage.

…Something like 40 accents thrown out there so far between the four of us. Keeping them from bleeding into one another is gonna require time and it’s own special concentrated effort. But as much as we laugh through the night, we are still focused on the prize…and can proove it…as we are still totally on pace with blocking the entire show in one week.

…Meanwhile, random character notes are already being thrown at us. Things like, “flirt like you’re in a maltshop” and, “he’s the oldest man in the world…think Tim Conway”…”lets put some shapeable dough in that bowl and see what happens”…”rush at him and bellow as loud and unintelligibly as you can”…”anytime you want lovey things from her, just yank the handcuff”…”she’s a cheek pincher..no…not that cheek”…”this is the part where you go wrangle him again for five minutes”…”all the women should sound a-la Python”…”it’s like The Scarlet Letter is in your house”…”Good! Yes! I want him to work his ass off on this speech and your job is to steal the scene”…”it’s like you’re, Niles and he’s Frasier…only: with sex!”

…And in keeping with clarity, we also chime in: ” if you can understand me right now, I can make it sound worse”…”what about I do Sydney Greenstreet and he can pop into Peter Lorre?”…”how literal are we getting…am I gonna be all wet here?”…”it’s a very His Girl Friday, sex antagonism thing”…”can I take the gun from my garter?”…”wait, who am I right now?”…”do I mount him here or no?”…”from English to German with all the subtlety of Carl Reiner”…”I think she’s seductive on accident, with zero emotions or sense of personal space. Like a dom…or a communist Garbo.”

…Obviously, it helps to all be giant film nerds and actor stalkers. Half our fun is coming up with a spot on simile or metaphor, somehow related to this noir or era-involved world of ridiculousness we are living in. If someone jumps up, points wildly at you and yells, “YES! Exactly!” afterwards, so much the better.

Double “win!”

….Plus, an awesome isolated and specific point of character contact for later.

~D

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