Tag Archives: comedy

Actor Fat

2 Dec

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Have been eating role-sugar for eight months now, and my actor butt has gotten fat. 

…As much as I love me some comedy, (and as hard a work out as they are in their own right), I’ve been missing the meat-n-potatoes  of my average yearly diet, sorely.  I love the drama and angst and hard book work and mental prep that goes with a good juicy steak of a role. Which shouldn’t be construed as complaining…I’ve been WORKING….and in fun stuff…but there does come a point where if you have to swallow one more bite of cake and ice cream, you feel like you’re going to explode.

…I’m right there.

The joy of the high tea delicacies of “Earnest” was wonderful, and I absolutely love it.  The challenging a-la-carte three-desserts-in-one of “39 Steps,” kicked by butt with sugar rush, and now beavering away in “Narnia,” feels like a milk-n-cookie afternoon snack.  But, finally booking something that requires actual chewing and digesting, just made m’freakin’ week…gotta tell yuh.

…Even if it is only a performance read, with only four or five rehearsals underneath it.

It’s an uber group of players, brought together with a director who produces nothing as just flake or muddle-and-serve.  She plops in table work, gets the read up on it’s feet for action, and presents it in a style all-but-performance-ready, save the book in-hand to reference to, as needed.  Wickedly well rehearsed, which means we get about four days of solid, amazing, script chewing and work-shopping ahead…for which I CANNOT FREAKIN WAIT.

…Throw in the fact it’s an Odets, and we’re walking in Group Theatre footsteps with all the ensemble complexities and arguments and whirlwind of emotions and politics coming with it, and you’ve got a very happy Hennie in the making, m’friends!

Steak dinner on the rise! 

…But first, lemme finish these double-stuff Oreos, cold glass o’ milk on the side 🙂

~D

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Minion Afoul, Laughers Wanted

18 Sep

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Lost my Minion today due to tinkle-test fail.  So, am back to square one.

…I have an office now, though…so there is something to be said in that.  It has that “new carpet” smell, battling the new paint high. Which, I mean, if the Minion was so keen on recreational substances, all she had to do was walk in the door and breathe deeply to get her daily fix…but nooooo.  Instead she has to totally screw me over, four days before Corporate walks through the door.

Swine Minions…

…Meanwhile, we are in the final days of tech at the theatre, performing to total silence.  I mean: total.  For several days now. So that’s a thing.  They’ve decided to “sneak peek” an invite-only group in tonight, just so we know what other people (besides us) sound like when they are laughing.

Assuming (of course) that they do.

Laugh.

…Which will lead us into Preview on Thursday: then Opening.

Not gonna lie…dead silence definitely does a number on your brain, when you KNOW there are people sitting there watching it.  Suddenly your start wondering if this whole thing is a bunk, full of inside jokes that no one will think are funny, or what.

…Perspective is shot.  I have no idea.  I hope people come tonight. I hope I mostly don’t know them. I hope they laugh.

This is where I am at people…basically waiting for something to go right in either sphere of life, so I can turn the tide over on the battle fronts. 

…But as Patton found out: it’s pert near impossible to win, spread between multiple fields of war.  I don’t have time or the luxury to choose which one to focus on, and relocate all my troops.  I ain’t GOT no troops. I’m the troop. 

Just gotta make it happen.

…And right now, as I regroup my brains for part-two of the day, I’ll lock up the office (and its non-occupied front desk), moving on to the other battle front:

Shower. Pincurl hair. Wig cap. Commute.  Do a show.

…And try to stay awake while I’m at it.

Let the rally call begin!

“BE FUNNY, DAMMIT!  BE! FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!”

The end.

~D

Does Your Doog Bite?

2 Sep

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Tonight was schooling in farce, via Peter Sellers. 

I have always loved that guy and always will.  Anyone who can keep a straight face while doing a quarter of  the shit he does, should earn ten or twelve awards.  He deserves an entire movement of comedy, named after him.  Formerly known as “straight man farce extremism.” As he is the only human besides Buster Keaton to achieve it, in the whole of history, it would be a small club.  But a memorable one.

…For horribleness of accent and self-pain-induced physical trauma, he would even win over Keaton. Which is really saying something.

…For what I needed to study for: it was perfect.  Even grabbed a specific moment from “Pink Panther Strikes Again,” that will easily sandwich into the show, and then “voila!,” another cinematic Easter Egg is achieved.

Mostly, tonight was German study, for Schmidt, on the total importance of holding a straight face, no matter what. 

No. Matter. What.

We WILL be breaking in this show.  Even being usual hard-asses in that field.  It’s almost impossible, with the nightly improv of new things built from happy accidents that occur.  Things that there is no way to be prepared for, which WILL inevitably happen (as they already do), and for which we are nightly challenged.  (As if the other stuff isn’t enough to keep a straight face through.)

My Schmidt just plain can’t.  Not at all. Not ever. Or it’ll ruin her whole deal.

…But if Peter Sellers can do it, by god, so can I (and three other people who AREN’T Peter Sellers.)  Because: it’s been done.

So that’s the goal.

Meanwhile, I have like two weeks left to enjoy the inadvertent spews of guffaw when they happen from nowhere.  So, I’m gonna. Then it’ll be, “dial in for hardass time.”

~D

Sex Farce

29 Aug

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You know how actors are always saying things like, “Oh filming sex scenes are one of the top ten most un-hot things to do ever,” and they are describing how much of a pain in the ass it was for them to lay around naked, in a bed, beside Brad Pitt for a week to shoot it…?

…And you know how you sit there, and watch them give these interviews and say these things, and you want to punch them in the mouth…?

…Because your job is in no way even remotely like that, nor do you make the kind of money that they do while doing it, and the fact that they are complaining about any of it, really makes you want to hate them…?

That is why I won’t be saying any of that.

Except that it is sufficient to say: I work in the theatre, so I decidedly do NOT make as much money as you, and also (in the current show’s circumstances anyway,) am sweating a lot more nightly, than you do in a week’s time.

…While being continually “made love to,” classic film style. 

As a variety of people, in a hundred different scenarios, featuring dozens of acts of groping, smooshing, spitting, scratching, dusting, patting, plopping, straddling and motor boating, in a seemingly unending voyage of butt slaps, boob squishes, lip sucks, face smooshes, crotch dives, feel-ups, arm wrenches, leg locks, and what-all, I am technically getting more action than if I were married right now.

…And though often hilariously funny, achieving any sexual significance from this, is utterly out of the question. 

Even for the slowly, specific things. 

…Because when you’re mid-them, on a stage, the repercussions of the act are the last thing on your mind.  What comes first is where the noses go this time, for the right shot to the audience, and how to balance your two weights acting against one another, and how long to hold the beat for the other thing to happen while this is going on, and how to time the end of it, when the other thing is finished, and how not to laugh when someone tip-toes by as if they fucked up and were in the wrong place, adjusting to it now…which is part of the actual humor of the show, and requires everyone on stage to keep a straight face of focus, while they do it.

This all makes the sexual innuendos, anything but sexy to the people involved.  Furthermore compounding the fact that the speed and attack of these moments turns them into controlled beat-snaps.  Which means lips have more the consistency of grade school children kisses, than adult sensuality.  Then it’s, “where do the hand cuffs go,” ” how do we do this turn while stuck together,” “what’s a new way to straddle you that I haven’t tried yet,” “what if I bit him here,” and beard prickles, followed by sweaty nylon leg skims, and breathing all night in one another’s faces so that by the end we could reconstruct the entire day’s worth of food intake, by burps and accidental-on-purpose vocal spittings alone.

…What I’m trying to say is: Sex and comedy go together like strawberries and champagne from the seating section POV.  Hell there’s a whole sub-genre invented for it. But for the bedroom farce-ing actors: I promise you, almost nothing, in the entire world, could turn you on less.

…Which is why (I think) they threw the “farce” bit in, to begin with.

For us.

Cuz if you aren’t getting “off” in bedroom matters…might as well have a good laugh at it.

Am I right?

~D

A Rehearsal Post

28 Aug

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Sitting in the house, while an oddly masculine woman plans her debutant daughter’s party, as her husband schemes homicide.

Now: Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre interrogate our hero.

…There are only two people on the stage.

It’s a long one, (as far as they go in this show full of French scene madness.)

…Six and a half pages.

The finale of Act One.

Psychotic Nazis, world overthrow, frenetic gun brandishing, top secret-secrets, maniacal laughing, rampant crossdressing, murder, peepshows, and self-propelled seating.

Six pages.

…Oop! Back to beginners, I’m up!

***

Later: Just back from Scotland. Baking accidentally phallic bread loafs, tucking in murderers for a good night’s sleep, and watching a lover escape into the night, through the “rear window.”

…It’s been a full night already, and we’ve been at it less than an hour.

First, came an “underware parade,” for instance.

…This is how you know I’m in a show, cuz in real life, I haven’t worn so little as a one piece swimming suite in public in over a decade. Yet tonight began, trying on high heels and period underwear, while the costumer and everyone watched me parade around, flop about, and mock die, so they could talk function, light, and color notes.

…Like every other prop on stage.

…And now they’ve moved on.

…Via a slow motion chase scene.

***

Next: an assembly hall, featuring the oldest man in the world, and a fuck-all political speech that would make Aaron Sorkin sit up and take notice. Mostly cuz it’s so long and terrible.

…In all the good ways.

***

Nexter: Invisible car ride through the moores, followed by erotic ballet by handcuff.

…I’m telling you, this show has freakin’ everything!

And more.

~D

A Break

18 Aug

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…Sometimes a girl needs a break from 24/7 lines, murder, and mayhem. 

…Not necessarily a “girl break” (ie: An Austen or RomCom film fest, featuring junk food and heavy sighing.)

Sometimes, all you need are some snarking smart-asses, and some sex.  Then, when you remember that you’re single, you have a buddy over n’ say:

“Hey, Justin and Mila…wanna have a foursome?”

…And everybody lives happily ever after.

This movie is magical in that it talks the way people really do.  (At least, my kind.) Also, makes fun of the sappy stuff, proves that laughing and sex can be a GOOD thing, and that friendship is mightier than the screw.

…Which, thank God.  Am I right?!

So, there is that. 

…An evening’s release from dark lit rooms, killers lurking in shadows, and dead bodies laying around just everywhere. 

Tonight, tousled sheets and funny bedroom bossings took precedence. Okay, sure, it was on a screen, but yuh takes what yuh gets, kiddies.

…And yuh bes grateful to the miracle of  “the BluRay.”

~D

Forty Or Fifty Sexual Positions…& Some Haddock

10 Aug

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6 hour rehearsal reserved for today, to finish blocking.  All Leading Fella and me, all the time.

With this show only populated by four people playing all the roles, we are all (but the lead, who has his own giant bag of tricks to carry) pulling multiple characters out of our pockets and throwing them around…and it was odd to have that team cut down to just two today, though really nice in the kind of specificity it brought.

…The prime key of what MY women bring to the piece (versus those of the clowns) is the “sex” of the show.  At all times, in all positions, with any possible flavor of innuendo…we have gone full speed ahead.  Which (when working with someone you’ve never worked with before) can get reeeeeally uncomfortable reeeeally quickly. 

…Only it isn’t, and hasn’t ever been.  Not even a little.  For reasons I will prob’ly never understand.

Well…I might have sorta contributed to that at some point.  Like the time, early this week, when I came to rehearsal just after shoving an onion-filled burger into my face, and while stretching on the stage said something like, “Yeah, I ate the most awesome onion of all time on my burger just now…so I hope you like the taste of lukewarm Walla-Wallas.”

…To which He replied something like,”Welp, I’ve been burping up my lunch all day, so we’ll just swap flavors and be good to go!”

…And we were.

…He kept burping ‘tween love scenes, and I kept reeking of 12-year-old-boy-feet. 

We were just disgusting.  Together.  And it’s been a beautiful stage marriage, ever since.

This kind of thing helps considerably, when you have a rehearsal day set up like today’s: All sex. All the time.

…How many suggestive positions can we possibly sink into this sucker?  How many crotch-shots, boob-facials, accidental butt-slaps, hand-grazes, lip bites, ear nibbles, body-straddles, cock-teases, fingernail scrapings, bed-positions, whiskey-shots, handcuff bits, garter-belt-popping, and lap dances can you find a home for in a script that just screams for sex, like Noir film in heat?

A lot.  Come to find out.

A. Whole. Fucking. Lot.

…And this was only the “preliminary” pass at it.  THIS was only “blocking.”  What comes with the finesse, and character study, and bit-work later, God only knows.  “More,” certainly. A refined style of it, slipped in…with layers, some subtle, and some…very much NOT.

For some reason, “comedy” means you can get away with a lot more with the general viewership, than the straight stuff.  I promise you that if we were doing half of what we did just today, on a stage, in a straight show, there’d be seats thumping closed and feet rushing through the theatre doors to the lobby faster than a run on a toy store at Christmas. People’s comfort level and self-righteousness grows like leavened bread in those kind of circumstances.  I have no idea why.  But bedroom farce is just this whole other world of a thing.  And in all my time in theatre, this is the ONE discipline of sex that I have NOT been asked to do as yet, on a stage.

…I gotta say, it is really quite liberating.

And fun!

Especially when you aren’t working with a creepy, greasy, tongue-thrusting, boob-grabbing, sleazoid.

Frankly, I’ve just totally made out like a bandit! A funny dude, whose game for the outrageously embarrassing, in a tag-team environment!

Plus, just doing the show is gonna get me more “action” than I’ve had in the past mffrrrtmmfa-MONTHS.

HOT DAMN! 

Let the sexing-up begin!

~D

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