Archive | 1:01 pm

The Corseted Lineman She-Hulk

12 Jan


First of all, my back feels awesome. 

…I’m not being factious, I’m being real.  And that’s saying something, considering what my body went through last night.  The saving grace: a steel-ribbed and reinforced rehearsal corset (thank you Mdm Costumer!)

…Another surprise is that the heels of my palms aren’t bruised all to hell, from slamming down onto and crawling around on a  cement floor over and over again, nor my right pinky bone from repeatedly ramming my spoon-hand to table top for vibration and re-set mark purposes.  My knees however were not so lucky. 

…Without a single ice cube or even a bag of veg in the freezer to help…the swelling last night, together with the bruising already coloring up, made even the weight of PJ pant legs uncomfortable. 

–BUT, The Breakfast Scene is choreographed!

Outside the emotional “gut-puncher” that is the ending at the water pump, THIS is the biggest moment of emotion and physical response in the show…besting all the other dozens and dozens of mini-battles we erupt into, for one reason or another.  The Breakfast Scene is the grand poobah of frustration, fight, chaos, and control of the entire piece, coming in at just the half way marker of the show.

…A mega ballbuster.

Until I go to repeat the fight actions tonight for our first stumble of Act I, however, connecting the emotional content with the actions, counting beats, protecting the kid, watching for audience splash and projectile flinging zones, aren’t my concern…nor my knees that look and feel like mutilated punching bags.  It’s the simple day-to-day form and functional use of my arms and legs.

 …Lifting an 80 pound, squirming human, wrestling her to the cement floor, and pulling her back up, over and over and over again…for hours, even when you’re in shape, is a lot on a body.  When you’re sick-grossly NOT in shape (like me), it’s a lot worse.  My already notoriously weak muppet-arms were a given to take the hit.  My quads however, are screaming proof today that ye olde corset did its job, forcing me to lift with my legs and not back.  Today, my limbs feel like I spent last night bench pressing a semi-truck and not a near-teenager. Even knowing this was coming (based on the necessities of the battle sequence), you can’t really prepare for the kind of soreness that follows something so insanely physically taxing as: “The Breakfast Scene.”

…We follow it in word-for-word specific breakdown, as it is kept intact in the actual script, with very few small adjustments needed merely due to set adjustments, and safety. But the violence and action is the same.

…And THIS is what Annie Bancroft was wearing under her costume.  For obvious good reason. 



Even Linemen aren’t kitted out this much, downstairs…but with the above as reference, (and a Ma who can whip up damn near anything with a sewing machine), this Annie is spending her LAST pad-less day on set tonight.  I may feel like a marshmallow man in bulk, even before adding the Victorian high collar, petticoats, and fitted long sleeves to the mix…but if I learned one thing last night it was that cement floors don’t give a flying fuck.  About plates, bouncing silverware, overturned chairs, OR “you.”

…As for my spaghetti-noodle arms and screaming legs, they’re just gonna have to suck it up. We’ve 39 days to opening, and a month of runs ahead of us.  By the end, even without meaning to, I should have the fucking core and toned lift-strength to rival She-Hulk .

…Meanwhile, as I blubber on…keep in mind that Bancroft and Duke did it for 719 performances across 21 months…and then again across five brutal days of filming for three cameras, months and months later, as if for the very first time. 

…It’s the kind of realization that makes my brain-balls wilt like raisins as the word, “freaks” involuntarily escapes my mouth…(not for the first time.) 

…Brilliant bastards…


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