Tag Archives: ham

Commedia dell’Ham

27 Dec


The only fun thing about running lines at this point (a total necessity) is to fuck with ’em by punctuating them with ridiculousness. So when I get to this point in the process, I just let it all hang out.

…Personal favorites are Telemundo-ing them to such great lengths of unnecessary melodrama that it is all but impossible to keep a straight face.

…Also adding inappropriate accents. 

…There is something about doing Shakespeare in a wide Wisconsin yowl that makes you want to piss your pants…like, every time. 

Look, if you HAVE to run these words over and over and over and over again in your head…to the point of incorporating their thought process and sentence structures as a second nature, you might as well have some fun with ’em. ‘Specially the dramas. One can only live in that kind of head space for so long…you have to be able to divorce your emotions from the words at some point or you’ll just launch into depression on a consistent basis. I like to fix this by reciting them while rocking out to music set as loud a possible, or at a speed mirroring that dude who used to do those Micromachine commercials when we were kids.

Dramas “at speed,” are fucking hilarious.

…Raising stakes to that level but without taking the time to segue from one thought process to the next, suddenly makes your character sound like a complete schizo, with totally unreasonable commentary and validations. Like today, for instance: running the worst emo lines of Act III, had me scrunching to the floor so as not to wet myself with the hilarious help of a friendly cue-giver. Every line spoken absolutely flat, on their end, was responded with mine in a highest-stake faux meltdown of wailing that would make Gloria Swanson look like an amateur.

…Which, because I like to pace while running lines, went a little bit like this:

Them: (Sitting in a chair.) But. Why. Oh. Why. Did this happen.

Me: (While walking out the room.) –I don’t KNNOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!! Beeecaaaaaause iiiit DIIIIIIIIIIIIID ! Iiiit HAAAAAAAAD to!!!!

Them: Now. We. Will. Never have. A normal life. Again. Why. Oh why.

Me: (While walking back into the room.) –Wwwwwwweee aren’t LIIIIIIIIIKE that!!! We aren’t!!! WE AREN’T!!!”

Them: Ok. So we aren’t. But then. What.

Me: (Pacing.) Listen!

Them: (Silence.)

Me: (Pacing.) Listen!

Them: (Silence.)

Me: (Stopping and yelling at filing cabinet.) LISTEN TO ME!!!

Them: I am. Listening.

Me: (Pacing back out of the room.) –We can NEVER go baaaaaaack! It’s alllll DOOOOONE for us now!!

Them: But. Why.

Me: (tearful-vomit-screech-of-pain-from-the-other-room)

Them: Why.

Me: (Heave. Heave.)

THem: Why.

Me: (Walking back into the room.) IIIIIIII DOOOOOOON’T KNOOOOOOOOOW!!!! It’s all because of “THEM!”

Them: Damn. Them. Damn them. All. To hell.

Me: (Gesticulating madly.) —Oh! Oh! Oh! It has come to THIS!

Them: Yes.

Me: (Falling into chair melodramatically.)— I KNEW it!!!

Them: I’m cold.

Me: –The END!

Them: Are you cold.

Me: –The END of EVERYTHING!!!!

Them: Lets not. Talk about it.

Me: (Standing and wailing.) GODDAMN MY LIIIIIIFE!!!!

Them: I’ll go. Cook us some dinner…

Me: (More wild gesticulations.) What care I for food?!

Them: You have to. Eat something. What.

Me: Nothing!

Them: What.


Them: (Beat.) What.

Me: (Calling out with all the power of Stanley from “Streetcar,” while sinking to my knees.) EEEEEEGGS!

Them: Fine. I will make us. Some eggs…


…This is not a literal translation of our line sequence of course, it’s more a general flavor. Wouldn’t wanna give the end away and all. But the point is: I laughed lots while doing it, which is exactly what WON’T be happening tonight when we run the scene for three solid hours.

…And I really needed that.


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