Tag Archives: costumes

All The Things

26 Feb

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This just in: Kids like food fights. 

…The Student matinee this week (our 10th show in 11 days so far), was full of Elementary fidgeters,  College ASL reps, and Teachers…which showed obvious divide in content appreciation until it came to the giant breakfast battle, wherein everyone became immediately 5 years old and hypnotized by the fact that two people were slopping around with this much goop on total purpose. 

…How much we consume and throw around on stage is pretty staggering, frankly, (as provided by our tireless prop-mistress, and cleaned up by our beautiful tech team), and contains as follows:

50 biscuits, 5 dozen scrambled eggs, 5 packs of mashed potatoes, several pans of fried potatoes, 75 pieces of bacon, one bone-in ham, 30 corn muffins, 2 cakes – one coffee crumb,  one white chocolate ganache-drizzled, 5 bags of green beans, 4  glasses of milk, many pitchers of water, and several  fistfuls of candy.  PER WEEK.

…I dunno where the hell that skinny  kid puts it all, or what keeps her from puking all over everything when I continually haul her up by her guts and fling her around…but I know I’m certainly taking in the bare minimum as necessitated per the scenes. Just keeping water down with that much action in a corset is pushing it at times, but the point I suppose is that the bulk of it never makes it in a mouth at all… rather becoming graffiti about the stage, smashed into costumes, crumbed on blankets, plastered on floors and table tops, sludged on chairs, my sunglasses, our hair, and (with amazingly few instances) audience members.

As to the amount of damage we do, relocating intermission became a necessity…cutting the show in such a way as to show a fairly set divide between the more humorous and youth-filled first half and the exhausted, dogged-and-determined second.  As our run stands, the nightmares which have haunted Annie in spurts begin to slam at her directly at the top of act two, launching her further into self-doubt and a sense of impending failure if not for solving a total lack of discipline from her pupil (and most importantly her constantly-placating family.)  A cut I originally disliked, (but obviously understood the reasoning for), I have now with performance, begun to embrace. 

…What this means is a shift from prominent physical battle in act one, to mental battle in act two…though both are present throughout the show in fits and starts. Act two has become where the bulk of the “acting” comes in…where the weariness and battle of inner demons comes to the front over fists of food and face slaps, and it is also the only instance in the entire show where we are able to tackle the words of the piece without being slammed with the constant technical work going on all around us.  One scene… with just myself and the Kellers in a room with no walls, no furniture, not a single prop to be seen.  Just three people: working organically off one another, passing the ball back and forth as we fight each in our own way, for the soul of this small person. 

…It has become my favorite part of the performance.  Not for the gravitas and tears shed…but for the lock-and-load workmanship with two fine actors who know their shit, and don’t ever let go of their particular rein and purpose and intent no matter which way they get pulled  by the other two in the scene. 

…None of which should show disservice to my Helen.  You couldn’t if you tried.  She’s a regular ball-buster of performing determination. 

…But after chasing her about non-stop for over an hour, it is nice to selfishly stand on my own two feet – upright off of the floor—face two seasoned pros, and play a game of emotional poker to see who will win THIS night.

The emotional and physical demands are great, and the stakes are high for all of us in this show, but there is something to be said for the simple joy of speaking well-written words on a stage with nothing else but the story and your scene partners to guide you and make you become better at what you do, than when you first started the night.  No other “special effects” are required.

Thanks, guys.

~D

14 Costume Changes & Some Acting

29 Aug

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Bit of a clothes horse, me.

…An option of fitting a first dress in before tech was jumped on, so we could focus on one horrifying onslaught before a tidal wave of others come in to cream us this Saturday. And so, a first dress was had. Last night. And it wasn’t particularly brutal on anything except my feet (dear three and four inch heals…you’re assholes. It’s a good thing you’re cute.)

….Anyway…we charged ahead, I broke some things, we managed line-call-free, fit in all my 14 costume changes, and called it a late night for the first time since we began rehearsals…but we DID it, which I think is the important thing to focus on at this point.

…At this point.

The last time I did a two-hander show was “Oleanna”…again: a professor and a student, having at one another for two hours of stage time. Just me: just him. That’s it, folks.

…The amount of focus, LISTENING, line retention, blocking and prop movement is insane. It REQUIRES nothing less than 100% lock-and-load on the other actor…so that no matter what choices/accidents/line-flubs/enlightenments/emotions are flying around through the air between you…you are a one-entity receptor.

…It’s like ballroom dancing, in a two-hour-long competition, where we both take turns taking the lead, changing styles from fox trot to samba to waltzing seamlessly, at any given moment, and attempting to do it all without one single misstep. Your anchor is in the eyes of the other guy…you make the audience phase out into the wallpaper and bookcases of your world, and together you begin on step one…and it never ends or eases up until the curtain goes down.

…And we know this from experience. As even before costumes and props were added, every break has been filled with line running and blocking, since day one. We don’t pop out of focus, we still can laugh, take a slog of water, and a quick slash…but damn if we’re not still running a monologue while in the loo, walking blocking while feeding from a water bottle on set, or futzing with props ad nauseum. Because we have to. And that’s okay. Because we happen to really fucking love it, you know?

…Like really. A lot.

Difficult is good. Frustration can be tempered and recycled into something better next time, thanks to the lessons you’ve learned. And when you click with a character who you know in your guts…who you can access without interruption in mind or manner…it’s a fantastic ride to be on. Even more so when you trust…really TRUST the team behind you, and that guy right there opposite you, on stage, every night.

…Even on the days of frustration and energy-sap…even when I know there’s more we can find in a moment (and we will, next time)…there is nothing lacking in the team work…in the connections we’ve made, in the amount of fight it takes for two people to command the stage alone… lifting words from a page, into something exciting and wistful, amusing and dangerous, hysterical and poignant, witty and humble. It’s an honor, a challenge, a fucking hell of a ride.

…And every night, when it’s over, the realization comes crashing in, on the ride home…as the adrenaline drains from every pore: and complete mental and physical exhaustion smacks us stupid with inevitable result. We are totally…right now…this second…living an actors dream.

Hells. Freakin.’ Yes.

Bring it, tech week.

~D

The One Where They Start Throwing Money

11 Nov

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Strange how much not like a whore I feel today, being as Corporate finally folded and started throwing greenbacks our way to get us to stay.

…It is a small amount, but larger than we realistically thought they would offer, is set retro-active to the day Boss walked out, and will be the FIRST of a PHASE of raises, impending this year, as the office continues to restructure.

…Which means: I don’t have to keep looking for a job anymore (the worst second full-time job EVER) and I’ll be able to actually pay ALL my bills now, (instead of just running a bastardized Lotto system every month to see who wins all the bucks THIS time.)

Huge giant leaps in the world of less stress…I gotta tell yuh.

…And not only THAT, but the WHS Pimp (acting head of OPS) decided we should split the branch bonus every month instead of just accruing it himself…so a certain someone might even be able to stuff some bucks away now…or like, you know, opt into a retirement plan again (which I haven’t had since my young 20’s.)

About. Fucking. Time. (Says I.)

About. Fucking. Time.

…So, that happened last week.  Along with the usual other work shit…which strangely is a lot less stressful in retrospect with a couple of bucks in your pocket.

In Other News: Inappropriate Beavering continues. I have my first Beaver fitting on Wednesday…which (I have to admit) is slightly terrifying. You guys, they took circumference measurements of my head. And also: we have tails.

…In my brains we look something like adults in furry footie PJs, and those knit beanie caps topped with animal ears, with a four foot plastic shovel sewed to our ass. During fight call last week (wherein I was given a weapon of a rolling pin, that I obviously haul around with me always and merely need to pull outta my Beaver pocket to use as needed), we discussed the concern of tail room in general. With the 30,000 children in this show, the possibility that it WON’T be stepped on (and thus rip my whole butt off at some point), is pretty slim. They had thought of this ahead of time, I guess, as we heard that we will have amended, smaller tails, which just changed the pictoral in my head to look something like a gopher with a giant cling-on poop coming outta his butt.

…Which reminds me…

…At some point we elder Beavers were like, “Um…what the hell kinda noise does a Beaver even make?” So, naturally, I went home and YouTubed Beavers. Which pulled up a whole PLETHORA of range in info…not all of which has to do with Beavers at all. And no, I’m not just talking about sexy stuff. I’m talking about the worrisome amount of adults WORLDWIDE who don’t know the difference between an Otter, a Groundhog, a Ferret, and a Gopher. Seriously. Most of these people were at Zoos…with their children…where the animals are LABELED in various languages. And yet there is clip after clip of Moms and Dads talking to their three-year-old about how cute the Beavers are, when any idiot can read that they are (in fact) Prairie Dogs.

…But after I was done worrying about the poor and utterly misinformed children of idiots, I spent the rest of the time watching National Geographic clips and fucking hilarious Canadian beer commercials.

…Meanwhile…never once finding out the kind of noise that a Beaver makes.

Apparently, it is an unsolved mystery.

Science may NEVER find out.

…So, I think I’ll just make some shit up and go from there.

…This is what we call “Improv.” And is a totally legit thing to teach our Baby Beavers. Unlike the stupid people who scar their children for life by taking them to Zoos and calling Giraffe’s “cows” and shit.

The end.

~D

A Quick Breather

10 Sep

Office paint chunked all over my fingernails, horrendous day, still set up in the warehouse as a slipshod work space, as the real ones are still stripped and dripping with paint.

…Also, I lost my toilet today, and sink. This is the world I am living in while processing over $100,000 in orders since yesterday morning.

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…Finally had a blowup at Boss today about his total lack of facelift help, prep or even acknowledging its existence by helping us out a little. By doing *anything* at all. Even his own job.

I felt no better afterwards. It’s gone beyond releasing frustration, to fix the stress.

…Meanwhile, am off tonight while they dry tech “39 Steps,” up north.

Apparently our fog machine just died.

…I dunno why they are using the fog machine during a dry tech to begin with…unless it’s for establishing their own sense of eerie atmos, while writing cue numbers in their call book, but whatever.

…One hopes now that they know it’s broken, they fix it, and everything is good to go by tomorrow.

Last rehearsal was a good one, lotsa work and specifics…also, my first toss with the German spy costumes (most difficult), and ended up working fine. Very few adjustments needed, and I was expecting a small train wreck of them, so this is good. Though the teddy will be ousted in favor of a full black slip (for death stab apparatus anchoring.)

…Incorporating new oompf to her as well. Found some goodies mid run, with the costume actively feeding the scene bits. It is weird how much a pair of fishnets, some long, velvet, black opera gloves, and a slit in you dress up to the who-ha can seriously influence a character.

…Can’t wait to see the wigs.

Blonde, brunette, and redhead.

All in one!

Booyuh, babes!

~D

Things That Go “BANG!,” And Mournful Bunting

4 Jul

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Home early from The Fella’s, and In-Laws. Stone. Cold. Sober.

…I’m sure this in not how the Founding Fathers intended America’s biggest party day of the year to end, for me.

But here I sit. 

…Because work is tomorrow, (after a Holiday sales blitz), with the beginning of a weekend full of shows riding it’s ass, like white-on-rice.

I feel I planned well, in-all, as plenty of drinking happened earlier in the day to offset the not-having-any-later, deal. Plus, having eaten half a cow and a lot of pig (with incidental greenery on the side), I think absorbed all the residual alcohol, and/or coerced it into helping break down all the stuff in m’guts, soon after.

…Which is basically a “workout,” if you look at it in some ways. (Like the world where ice cream doubles as your dairy qualification for the day.)

The amount of food I’ve had across these past two days, does worry me a bit.  Not so much in the fact that I won’t fit into my costumes…(that’s what a corset is for)…but that it will be exponentially more uncomfortable to be squeezed into them.

…But I haven’t totally ignored my responsibilities in that realm. I did manage to run lines today with The BFF, (as in days of old), to  keep verbally fit and ready for tomorrow. And as part of my coming-home-early-to prep-for-tomorrow bit, finally fished out my tights from the show-bag, where they have lazily resided all crumpled and stinky, since last Sunday. 

…And now, as I listen to endless pop-rockets, snap-dragons, and gunpowder bangs outside my window, clean black tights hang in their place along the shower rod…drooping like mournful, wet, bunting.

There is something strangely satisfying in my bathroom being taken over by show laundry, hanging to dry. 

Tradition. 

…Harking back to centuries of other show people, from Vaudeville to the legit stage, who have done it before me, and will long, long after I am gone. 

Some things never change:

…The late-night excessive banging of illegal fireworks outside your bedroom window on the fourth of July…and prep, the evening before your next performance, being two of them.

Happy Independence Day, friends!

~D

Gwendolen & Cecily Mexi-Fro-Yo

16 Jun

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This evening, Gwendolen invited Cecily over for some girl time. 

…This turned into six hours of multiple short walks, fajita cooking ventures, a fro-yo run, visiting a Hollywood celebrity, eating, watching part of a movie, swilling some wine, and talking about a lot of everythings.

Given how much they achieve in merely two-hours of stage time, it is to be expected that they can easily fill six additional hours with no problem in the least.

…And never manage to run out of conversation.

…Or cake.*

Opening week is now behind us. 

…I’m told we held at the initial weekend average attendance of 77%, putting us already in the black.  And only one of the reviews has come out.  So with the heavy press hit this week, we should be livin’ sweet come Thursday.  Patrons this weekend were buying out entire seating sections for bringing more people to see it again…which I think you will agree is a very good sign that we are on task for putting smiles on faces.

…And the people who don’t smile are prob’ly vegetarians anyway.*

Off now, for a bit of a rest.

…Our costumes, for a bit of a dry-clean.

And as Jack’s face is removed from everyone’s blouses, jackets, and trousers, the women breathe corset free for three whole days.* 

…Not that we mind the restrictions so much as the heat and hideous post-show markings they leave on our bodies. Like canvas-sacked prunes.

…Which is basically how I feel right now.

Back to the Pilates n’ walks again, starting tomorrow. 

…And (I suppose) start looking at the lines for the next show.

…But first: BED!  SLEEP!

And a Monday.

~D

(* show joke entered here.)

It Worked! Now What Did I Do?

11 Jun

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Pin pointed some good moments tonight. 

We all did.

…Working our asses off, never looked so esthetically pleasing.

…Nor as funny on apparent total accident.

(It is no accident, these people are funny.  And so is the show.)

Tonight, trying some new wardrobe changes in act two had me doing my hair no less than three times for the evening.  My scalp was a bobby pin nightmare by the end, but it was totally worth it, and I’ve now been locked-and-loaded in all my visual incarnations.

Gwendolen is a very specific creature of very specific style and accessory.

…Which makes owning and flitting about in it, (as if one did so all the time), a total necessity.  And I’m riding that wave tighter every night.

As is usually the case, the rest of the “her” I was looking for, showed up with the costumes, hair, and intimate props.  These are always my final touchtones to the characters I play, which means I am fussy about them, and endlessly futz with them, because they must ultimately become so virtually a part of me, that there is absolutely no question as to the form and function of each and why they are a part of the tool kit the character uses.

…Meanwhile finding “the final look” is often a work in progress.  Fine tuning, rearranging, and adding small details are what seperate the men from the boys in this field…each step of which, influences the actor and their work.  And because this is the late Victorian era, there is a hell of a lot of “detail” to be tuned into.

Much like Oscar’s verbiage, it is not a matter-of-less is more, or more-is-more, but rather: ostintatious-is-the-ordinary.

More of everything, including fringe, lace, jewelry, prints, pillows, tea, and accessories, Art Directed in such a way as to appear completely normal in form.

…And once that is added, the actors adjust, work, and incorporate accordingly.

Due to the total difference in hats and new alterations in costume tonight (for instance), this means I’ll be doing two completely different coifs each performance. 

Because Oscar is a wise man…and no doubt realized what it takes for a woman of the period to change and prep and do such things…I have around 30 minutes (including an intermission) in order to achieve it all.

Plenty of time.

…If still a monster task.

…And the result is (even if I do say so myself) supremely smart, therefor totally worth it.

It is all totally worth it.

…When you hit those moments, the sweet spots, where everything just seems to fall into place, and everything becomes just a little more supremely delicious in texture, and line, and look, and delivery; when you are truly playing with another person on stage, with all the rules assembled, but the open possiblity of surprise sizzling in the air between you: that is what it’s all about.

Finding that with people you didn’t even know three months ago, still blows my mind with wonder.

And the friendships that come with that requirement of total unflinching trust, is what builds the real joy in what we do.

At least it does for me.

Applause ain’t even half of it.

~D

She Catches Air

9 Jun

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First Dress: in the can.

…Some small adjustments made, due to the longer skirting, different shoes, hats, gloves, new props and additional layers and corset, but all the big stuff made it in the mix.

My largest: a particular vamping moment we weren’t sure would make the cut once my constrictions were all added in, was saved after all, but took some negotiations, and a lot of body launching in about 20 feet of satin, to achieve. 

And at first: it totally didn’t work. 

…But took time before the run to slowly mark it…and the material and costume give, and placement…then, with both Mdm Director and Costumer watching to make sure I didn’t fuck it all up: graduated at last to the eventual speeding leap onto a specific piece of furniture, getting enough air to launch myself into a landed seductive position, of comedic proportions, grown specifically from the knowledge that I would be dealing with too many skirts at that point to achieve it in any other way.

…The first time, in costume, was the most unsexy thing you have every seen. 

…And slightly terrifying.

…Followed quickly by the second and third most unalluring moments, possibly in history. 

The end-game was finally achieved, however, (in the run), by purely launching my body with no fear at it’s goal and letting gravity do the rest.  People laughed, so I suppose whether sexy or not, it is at the very least “funny,” which is the ultimate goal anyway, so: yay.

Off tomorrow night, trying to work from home at least tomorrow morning to buy me some sleep-in time, which I have yet to get this week.

…Would like to catch up on some of that before tech continues.

~D

Plowed

14 May

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Rehearsal kicked my ass tonight…or rather, I kicked my own ass AT rehearsal tonight.  Every moment not consumed in my first fitting or on stage was spent pacing at furious speeds outside, while running my lines, hoping it would somehow help them stick with the sheer force of energy.

…This went on for 3 hours.

…And for all of that, I kept screwing them up when I really actually needed them, anyway.

I don’t know what the fucking mental block on this is, but I’ve easily dedicated twice the amount of time to these lines than my last two shows put together, and the cocking things just won’t fucking stick.

…All my usual bag of tricks have been applied. The retention is massively slow, and occasionally word-spotty.  I might get three of the four direct adjectives in a row, but always forget that one middle one…the one that begins with an “R”…and ALWAYS screws up the flow of my recitation by going AWOL whenever possibly able.

I really just can’t do any more tonight. 

…Off book for Act 1 and half of Act 2, which would be great at one-week in…if that didn’t take me about 18 hours to accomplish, and still in a lot of cases, only “tentatively.”

…Things at work weren’t really the greatest, either, actually.

It all adds up.

I’m tired.

I’m gonna go to bed now and think of “not-lines” and forget about Corporate Reports on PURPOSE.

…Possibly contemplate how I’m going to clean my entire house in like 15 minutes tomorrow, after work, before some road tripping California Cousins arrive.

…And also: pay bills.

Gawd. I could really go for a glass of wine right about now…

And a thing of chocolate, with a side of grease.

And potatoes.

Instead, I’ll gargle mouthwash and go to bed.

Not a cool trade-off, friends.

~D

Read-Time

4 Apr

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Wiped from rehearsal tonight.

…Need bed.

…And some reading time.

Pop my brains into a better place, get some good sleep.

Folded and bought the first Call the Midwife novel of the trilogy. So I’ll take the Sisters of St. Raymund of Nonnatus House to bed with me, where though the work is hard and harried, at least it ends well 99% of the time.

…Which is still better stakes than we’ve got going for us in the Attic.

Off until Sunday now, come to find out. 

A literal costume rehearsal with nothing but changes-running for hours…followed by full tech.

…It’s gonna be a long haul, sweeties.

Light a candle for us.

~D

The Star

25 Mar

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Having done a touring show of a Holocaust piece before, I’d already been through the creepy-real feel of being surrounded by Nazi uniforms, in a barbed-wire concentration camp.  But I had played a Christian “protector” (therefore, a political enemy), not a person of Jewish descent.

…Those uniforms. Very, very pristine copies, rented from a company who let them out to film costume departments, so that the authenticity of the weight of the material, and all the patches and insignia were exact…was a hell of a thing to be on stage with.  I can’t even imagine having to be one of the actors having to put them on.

…Put it this way: there was very little “acting” involved while being screamed at in German, surrounded by these uniforms and barking dogs and people weeping to the right and left of me.  The awesome realization that this was 6 million people’s reality, 70 years ago, hits an entirely new level when your senses are slammed into it, knowing that this terror you actually, ACTUALLY feel is NOTHING compared to what they lived with every single day.

…And the HATE for those pieces of cloth.  That one patch I would stare at through that one scene, on the arm just resting on a desk…a pen in the hand, writing out my fate in ink for all of time.  The actual metal skull pin of the S.S.  The meaning behind it, and the audacity and total disgust of seeing a human wearing it with pride and purpose as an achievement in rank and standing. 

…And the Swastika.  Black spider on white, backed in blood red. 

…Close up.

…Close enough to see the stitches, hand-sewn to the arm bands and tacked to place.  Hand-sewn like they would have been hand-sewn.  Only then it was by a prideful wife, or mother, or sweetheart.  Now it was by a team of seamstresses in a costume department. 

And what must it have felt like to them, to do it? 

It is impossible to be even in the presence of the thing and not feel the distinct darkness of evil come off it.

…And what if one of those seamstresses was Jewish?

…Or one of the actors who had to wear it?

These are things you don’t really think about with intense detail, until you’re playing a scene with a person you’ve rehearsed with for a month, whom you trust and respect as a friend, and who you now can very easily look at with such loathing hatred…draped in this disgust…for all that what they are wearing means, and how well they do their jobs in being totally sick bastards toward you.

Props and costumes have POWER. Especially when they’ve history behind them.

…And this is the truth.

Tonight, for photos, I stood as the costumer affixed a beat up, well-used, yellow Star of David onto my sweater…just here…over my heart.

Not to assume that in any way I am sharing equal pains with the spirits who came before me, who have worn it, but tonight…I think it was the first time that the power of it hit me. The power of that star. The word “Jude” inked upon it.

Because I was wearing it now.

Above my left breast.

As she would have.

As millions of them did.

…A marking of a people. A religion. A death sentence. Something people looked at and knew as a branding, every day, on the streets, in the shops. Something that was so much a part of day-to-day life, that people became accustomed to it. As if it was nothing. As if it was no more than the patch of a favorite sports team, walking down the street. Which is outrageous to me. But what other possible explanation could there be? And then the mixed emotion of pride as well as shame of being of the blood and religion to be told to wear it. It is your faith…so how can one shun it and be true to oneself? Yet it is a mark of distrust and segregation and politics and abuse. How does one live with the balance of both loving and hating it?

…On every piece of clothing.

…Staring at you from every mirror.

…Every reflection of yourself in a window.

…Marked to indicate where you can and cannot go…

…Whom you may and may not marry…

…Be friends with…

…Do business with…

…Speak with…

…Every single day.

After getting the Director’s approval, I slipped off stage, and beat it to the front lobby, to get a breather for a bit. Because putting on that yellow piece of cloth had such an immediate tie with me.

A bond.

I could feel it.

A costume piece, is all it is meant for. But it isn’t. And it won’t ever be.

…Sometimes you undertake a thing that means more than you can quite grasp or put into words. It’s haunting. It’s vital. It’s physical. It is tangible. Even if it is only an ” emotional feeling.”

I took a breather in the ladies suite, and just stared at the mirror. For quite a while. I don’t know how long.

…And all I could really come up with, that sorted out into anything at all, was what a horrible honor it was to wear it. This star. And tell this story.

…For Anne and all the others.

…Surrounding an audience with a feeling they will never get from just reading about it in a book.

They may think they know these people already. Their names, their reputations…they even know how the story ends. But what they won’t be prepared for is that now, they will have heard their voices…know what their laugh sounds like. They’ll watch the jealousies build, and the fights erupt in full force, and witness total seized terror as boots march by, a bomber drops it’s payload overhead…a machine gun sounds…or children can be heard in the distance, playing in the street, while a little girl, wearing no shoes, speaking no words, sits in total silence. Listening. Because her life and everyone elses depends on it.

…The audience will live through all of this. In the same room as us. Live. Now. With no escaping it.

…And without even realizing it, that same audience will become our friends and allies, and will get angered and hurt for us, and pick sides, and find favorites,and will soon find themselves rooting for an ending alteration that can’t be fixed or changed, any more than the history that it came from.

…And when that realization actually hits…it will destroy their emotions, from seemingly out of nowhere.

Not because of “slight of hand,” or any kind of “manipulation.”

Because of Truth.

History.

Horror.

Theatre is an awesome thing.

A constant teacher. And a humanitarian.

…I just (for the 1,000th time) was reminded of it.

Thought I’d pass it on.

~D

A Special Breed Of Masochists

15 Oct

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You guys, I’m being super side-tracked right now by writing my blog. 

…On the way home from rehearsal tonight, I got this bitchin’ hair design idea for the show, and was just standing in the bathroom makin’ hair topiaries when I realized what time it was and that I hadn’t written my post yet today. So I’m stopped mid-point, and look like a frizzy cross ‘tween Hagrid, Pippi Longstocking, and a Fraggle.

…If I were a more farcical character it would be fucking perfect.  But I’m not, and it isn’t.

…I stopped anyway, so that I could do my duty by my pledge to you: the readers, and me: the scribbler.

Let it be noted.

…Tonight’s rehearsal was more “selective” in it’s scene work (which I like), and required me to be a maniacal energy boost of ridiculous hysterics both coming and going.  Short boosts of fuel, as I provide throughout most of the show.  And (continuing on my current streak) I have had yet another “lift” added, mid a grand performance of hoisting in hurrahs…making my new goal (as per Mdm. Director): “to somehow finagle out of ever having to walk at all, throughout the entirety of the show.”

If hard work, dedication, and my co-actor’s backs can do it: IT SHALL BE DONE!

…Poor bastards.

Our Sir Toby is endlessly bench pressing me, at this point.  But then, he gets to grope me lots too, so I figure: that’s free second-basing at the very least, which is (I feel) pretty fair trade in the scheme of things. 

My boob kinda hurts from this one scene.

…Just the one boob, which is totally my fault, cuz I’m the one grabbin’ Sir Andrew’s hand and slapping myself with it for an extended grip of time.  Won’t be so bad once I have corset boning to help stave off the brunt of the abuse.  Apparently, Maria likes it rough.

(Totally innocent shrug.)

…Meanwhile: Hooray for rehearsal skirts, so I can begin playing again with the flow and mass of all that material below me.  Less Nancy-ish* (“Oliver” referencing), with my wenching this time. I don’t have the luxury of just hoisting it up to flash me knickers whenever I need to get it out of m’damn way. 

Being a girl on stage is so much work, you guys…you don’t even know.

…Sure, dudes have coats and things that run hot in the lights, and if anything “period” is being attempted, layers begin to incorporate about two out from that in certain specific instances playing “outside” or “per season.”  But I promise you that women win in this battle, and always will. Even if they play “whores.” I know, because I’ve played tons of ’em.  You’d be surprised how many clothes can be worn when you are “technically” naked.  Especially in period pieces.  Just layers and layers and layers of shit on top of other shit, on top of more

There’s a reason that women did almost nothing gregarious or sportish for centuries of time.  It wasn’t so much the “society rules.”  They physically just couldn’t. You try wrapping your head around wale boning poking into your boobs and crotch and hips, while sucking you in so tight you can’t breathe, then putting twelve layers of underwear between that and your top skirts and waistcoats, and boots…and all that hair…and hats, every day from age eleven or twelve until (merciful) death.  Then go out, hoisted sidesaddle, “riding to hounds” on weekends.  Or play a stationary game of lawn tennis.  Or consider “a turn about the room” equivalent exercise to thirty minutes on the cross trainer at the gym.

…No wonder they fucking fainted all the time.

It’s GREAT discipline, and helps build the hell out of a character though, so the suffering and sweating is totally worth it.

…Bruised boobs, aching backs, suffocating organs, stinging knap-hands, pinched shoes, gallons of sweat, et al. 

It takes a special kind of person to do this all willingly, for almost no pay at all. 

…We’re sorta masochistic freaks, really.

And you totally wanna be us, when you grow up.

Admit it.

~D

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