Tag Archives: farce

War Wounds

7 Sep

image

Three of  the eight hours in rehearsal today were spent in handcuffs getting yanked around.  I’ve a beaut of a bruise in full color already, and tender muscle surrounding, which means more is yet to come.

…I’m generally pretty proud about my theatre wounds. (Except that time I broke a finger doing “Noises Off.”)

…It’s like any battle scar, showing that you were here on this day, at this time, and did a thing.  I mean REALLY did it.  These are not “accident” happenings, they are well earned trophies, from hours of working and re-working bits, putting everything you’ve got into them…like sore muscles and body aches are the repercussion for a good workout the night before.

…(Which I’ve got too, btw.)

If I didn’t have to carb up so much to get through the show, I’d prob’ly lose ten more pounds before opening, in sweat loss alone.  Gallons of hot water and tea back stage, and today’s working of what we like to refer to as the “handcuff ballet” sections, ramped that all up well before noon even.  Ten A.M. call for voice-over work, then ballet call, then line run, lunch, then full run and notes.

…Meanwhile, major set pieces have finally started to show up, and we wrangled our way through, out, and around all the remaining incidentals.

Two more runs before tech.  Wherein all hell will break loose as costumes, wigs, 70 sound cues, plus lights, will explode this all into overdrive.

Two more runs where it is just about the core “Us’s.”

It’s a good team.  We play well, work well, improv well, and manage to turn 90% of the mistakes, accidents, and open season opportunities into full fledged added bits, winks and major features further profiting the production as a whole.

…Because we ain’t afraid to look like idiots.

You’d be surprised how often that turns out well for you, on stage.

…Anyway, totally exhausted.  Came home to a sauna-hot shower, out with the girls for a bit of a Rum-fest at a tiki cabana place, and am home now…legs and feet aching, cuz of eight hours in heels, and plenty of constant physical everything.

Time to wash m’face again, and set in for some write-time on my weekly prompt, I think.  Until sleep slaps me in the face, and I wake up and start all over again, tomorrow.

Night, friends.

~D

Does Your Doog Bite?

2 Sep

image

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

image

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

image

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

German Spy Dom

6 Aug

image

One of the joys of working on this show, is the constant ping-pong of character work. Where last night we molested the Scottish moores…tonight, I was a German noir spy in an English music hall, for the bulk of the evening.

…Almost zero facial expression, with a whole lot of stiffly negotiated sexual positions…pulling lugars from my garters, and spitting all over the leading man, with thick accent articulation.

We are only in day three of rehearsals, and every one of them has brought an entirely new world of “what if” and “holy god, I can’t wait to get off book and fuck with this” feeling.

…Only three, in.

Imagine what two weeks from now will be like? Insanity. Theatrical anarchy.

…This is the kinda show that grows “bits” and “bits on bits” at almost out-of-control levels. If we were a virus, we’d have already infected a two county radius by now. Sure, they can try to contain us, but Mr. Director is gonna have his hands full on this one.

…If for no other reason than, that at SOME point, he’s gonna have to pick what stays in and what goes out…else the show will run four hours long.

…And four hours in a theatre seat, is anything but funny.

Unfortunately, I am in a position to know this by experiance.

~D

Next! (And, In German)

19 Jun

2013-06-19-18-43-35-Z

Tonight, I start work on m’next script, as first read has now been settled for this Saturday before “Earnest.” For it I’ll be playing three rolls in fast-action farce: A German spy, a bookish British smart-tart, and a Scottish country lass.

Circa, London 1935.

…Currently (of course) I’m living in posh period Brit, 1895. So that’ll be a fun mind fuck once we really get running in rehearsals while still finishing “Earnest” performances.

But I’m totally good for it. 😉

…Homework right now is working on the accents so I have something decent to use for the read on Saturday. Never having done a German without Jewish or Dutch influence, means that’ll be a whole new bag to play with for me, as well as digging out a comedic Scottish that you can still actually understand.

Tons of fun ahead.

Tonight: am focusing on Annabella Schmidt…the German spy…the model for which I will (naturally) be using, being Marlene Dietrich. I want her vocal pitch so low she sounds like a man in drag, and her accent so exaggerated she sounds like any Noir period spy supposed to be based in Germany (having prob’ly actually been born in Jersey.)

…It will be awful-beautiful.

I almost can’t wait.

So I’m leaving now to go work on it.

First bus stop on the homework train is this:

2013-06-19-19-07-45-Z

…All aboard!

~D

…And Then, There Was This Ball

13 May

image

I am now the proud owner of a giant bubble-gum-pink Pilates ball.

…The reason is: this show I’m doing, (after the show I’m doing), wherein I will be required to do this:

(see “this” here.)

One obviously needs to be either an alien or a gymnast, or at the very least have a core of steel in order to accomplish this.  I think we can all agree that I am/have none of these things.

…Which means I need to whip into shape, like woa.

Have still been losing poundage at a slowly melting rate through the last production…which was meant to make…say, wearing a corset in this one…just a little bit more comfortable.  But now I have this whole other level of “fitness” I need to achieve in order to keep up with the “next new thing.”

Farce is a physical beast. And I am in no way fit for it at the moment.

…Enter in a private coach structure of single, to double, to eventual triple reps in a very specific sequence that will apparently morph my body into a super model by the end. 

(Albeit a very short one.)

(Provided I do it right.) 

(And we all know I’ll prob’ly screw it up.)

(But there is some credit in trying, anyway.)

…The point is: I now have this gi-fucking-gantic ball in an already crammed apartment, that I have to do something with in it’s down time. And (I guess) do something with, NOT in it’s down time.  And I have nowhere to put it.  The bastard was so huge I couldn’t even fit it into Harriet just to get it home without almost killing myself.

…Which was prob’ly really funny to anyone who might have been watching at the time, but not to me.

…Because that is what comedy is all about: Serious business with uncomfortable (and in some cases “tragic”) circumstances to the “doer,” providing great  delight to all the assholes standing by and watching, while it happens.

Tonight…”comedy” included me in MC Hammer PJ pants (roughly four sizes too big), and oversized Wellies, trying to achieve the reverse of a “square peg into a round hole” phenomenon, and failing badly.  This is where current bodily heft ended up helping.  If I was “fit” I NEVER would have been able to get a running start towards the ball already wedged in the door, and pop it out the ass end, into the passenger window.  No.  If I was “fit” I woulda just bounce right off of it, and collided with an oncoming car, like a bug on a windshield, and that would have been the end of me.  In a “possibly amusing to others, though probably not to me,” kinda way.

…Instead I propelled that bastard inwardly, then spent a great deal of time on the ass-end of the trip, trying to hug onto the ball, while pulling it backwards towards me out of the car. 

…But then if the ball won’t fit on it’s own, the ball, with your arms around it, REALLY won’t fit. One learns this concept quickly.  By like the eighth or ninth try.And then getting out of the car to reach inward to unwedge it from the passenger seat, only really achieves plummer butt-crack-flashing the entire wall of windows to your building.  Which was still better than the time, I accidentally stepped back onto the puddle of  PJ bottoms rooted by my Wellies, partially pantsing myself, while arms were still stuck, wedged around the ball, and in the car doorway, totally helpless to resolve the situation.

Luckily, it was dusk.  So prob’ly only ten or twenty of my neighbors saw me.

…Which I might have kept to a slimmer number of witnesses, had I not spent the entire time cussing out the ball (and circumstances) while it was all happening.

Eventually…said ball was free, I pulled up my pants, and proceeded to my building.

…Where the struggle between clothing, and clompy Wellies, my bag of knitting shit, along with the giant bubble-gum-ball, commenced all the way through the main pass door, and up the flight of stairs to my apartment.

…Where (exhausted), I kicked open the door, and let everything fall to the floor, in a heap. The ball, having grown easily to five times it’s original size, bounced with taunt heft directly into the living room, managing to collide with every breakable thing possible, before settling where it is currently residing…in such a way, that I can no longer even enter the room.

Meanwhile, I am now too exhausted to work-out, at all (on account of the entire episode), and have decided to just blog, wash my face, ignore the devastation in the living room that I can’t get into now anyway, and think heavily on the topic of possibly beginning my new fitness regime tomorrow.

…Or at least consider, thinking heavily about it.

“Fitness” is a very solemn undertaking, not to be toyed with lightly.

Why else would they have all those warnings about consulting your doctor, before you begin to attempt it?

I mean fuck, I coulda died twice tonight, been arrested for indecent exposure, and might have as much as $50 or $60 in property damages now…just from trying to transport the damn equipment.

A single. Cocking. Ball.

“Fitness” is FIERCE you guys.

~D

%d bloggers like this: