Tag Archives: laughter

W.C Fields, (When He’s Right)

21 Apr

image

This guy was known for his one-liners and one of his finest, “Never work with children or animals,” was spawned by his loathsome hatred for both, and frequent forcing to work with them anyway.

…P.S., he was an actor. 

(In case you didn’t know.)

…A profession where people without patience or discipline are not long for the world. 

…Talent frequently has nothing to do with it.  So we won’t cloud the atmos with any of that right now.  Here, we are only talking basic mechanics.  Can you physically sit still, or stand, or recite on command, or change costumes, or move to where you are supposed to be, on a specific cue? And can you shut the hell up and behave, the rest of the time.

…That’s all.

These two species, frequently cannot. 

…They fidget, and steal focus, and play to the audience, or refuse to play at all, or act out when they aren’t supposed to, and don’t when they are. 

…And they are cuter than you.  So every fucking person in the audience is going to be ten times more intrigued with whatever it is they are doing on total accident (like picking their nose, or peeing in the corner) instead of you with all your months of dedicated hard work invested in this highly emotional scene.

This is why W.C. Fields is a genius. 

Because he said it: the truth, that no one wants to admit, but know is true…which if you do admit, makes you a giant asshole.

I am a giant asshole. 

…And I’m totally okay with that, frankly.

This is why you will never see me doing a show like, oh..”Annie” for instance. 

That would be like hell. 

…Unless I was Hannigan, in which case I getta hate all the children on purpose anyway.

…And you’ll never see me in a film like “101 Dalmations,” made up almost entirely with animilia of every size, breed, and type, each trained in doing one thing that they never do on cue, but will do any time  you like, when the camera isn’t on them.

I frankly super lucked out with “Oliver!”…only cuz it was a bucket-list role and totally worth all the pain, added to the fact that our kids were all freaks of talent, and really good, delightful human beings.

…This is not usually the case.

It sorta broke the mold.

…And in “Anne” our under-agers are serious-minded young artists, that attack the work as such, so I tend not to think of them as anything other than “peers,” outright…

…But the cat?

Ohhhhhh….the cat.

We have a live Mouchie. 

Peter’s cat is a “cat”…not a “something in a box they talk to from time to time”…and as such, lives with us in the first act, and back stage for the second. On a harness and leash, he exists primarily in Peter’s room, for a few spotlight moments, and isn’t thought of much again ever after. 

…But he is real. 

Legit. 

…A giant, Buddha-like tabby with slothful inclinations…which works perfect on a stage full of screaming hysteria (mostly sourcing from me) and much door slamming.  He is usually quite good to just smoke his little peace-pipe of hooka-catnip-hash and stone out for the act, then exit at intermission and be done with it.

…But not tonight.

Tonight, Tinker was a pissed-off individual, and by GOD everyone was gonna know it!!

…We didn’t know why, or how, what was different than the norm, what may have happened to spawn it, but it began not long after intermission with small vocal complaints (mostly only heard by cast on stage), magnified in the Anna/Peter date scene with a gigantic dump of uncovered poop that clogged the air with putrification…at almost gag levels…for the following scene and a half, then ended…at the most poignant of scenes…the second to the last…with Anne, gazing out the attic window speaking her most famous words…before the Nazis come storming in to collect us all…with a collection of yowlings that grew, and grew, and grew…until the audience was in absolute titters.

…After all that we had worked for…

…One FUCKING cat was completely ruining it all.

By the time it was carried, still yowling, and stowed away in the dressing rooms, more than a few pissed casties rallied the end of our strength and focus and worked to regain what was left of our dignity and solemnity in the moment. 

We rallied.

…Because it was our job.

…And a large number of them were FAR more forgiving of the fur-creature afterwards than I was. 

Again, that “cuteness” factor wins people over, all the time.

…But not the hard-asses.

I didn’t speak to that bastard on PURPOSE…even while everyone else baby-talked to it, and scratched behind it’s ears, and wondered over it’s emotional state, and what could have bothered it so to act out today, when it had never done so before.

Me, I just slapped it dirty looks whenever I could and silently threatened to kill it if it sprayed my bag of theatre crap, sitting beside in on the floor.

…Admittingly: I am not a cat person. 

I like dogs. 

…But I don’t care if it is Fido, a finch, a frog, a 30-hand-tall horse: you fuck with something I’ve worked two months and two-and-a-half hours to build: We are enemies, pal.

It’s ON, Tinker!

It. Is. ON.

~D

Advertisements

The Crying Game

26 Sep

image

So…there’s gonna be an issue with keeping a straight face in this show. 

…I’m pretty hard to break when I’m “in” it, but holy hell am I being set up to fail in this one. 

…Scenes where I either walk in all reprimanding because of loud party-going of frat-like proportons…or try to play jokes on an idiot who just DOES NOT understand what in the hell I’m doing….or have to stand straight-faced, while the audience (I promise you) will be peeing their pants and braying like donkeys over the TOTAL loss of dignity of the most love-to-be-hated character…are killing me at the moment.

I am so screwed.

…Also, we are all of two scenes into my own personal blocking and I’ve already been poked, pinched, sniffed, picked up, ass-grabbed, and motor-boated.

Comedy. Its a good thing.

…Except when you can’t react to it.

Then its “evil.”

Like now, for instance.

…Well, actually, “now” is the time that it doesn’t count. I can laugh NOW as much as I like. In hopes to get it all out before its time for other people to laugh at it. Which it good. Cuz last night I was ripping it so hard, I was ugly-faced-crying in the corner, up stage left, waiting for an entrance I seriously could NOT FUCKING MAKE, because I was afraid if I stood up from the crouched laughing position, I would just pee all over myself.

…Which, I think, (though validating to the other actors on stage), would not really be appropriate. ‘Specially as it isn’t “technically” our stage yet…it’s still borrowed until the current show closes. Explaining those kinda stains on the Sherlock set, might add a whole other layer of “mystery” than they are really intending.

…But so goes “theatre.”

Sometimes…its just hilarity. And unexplainable pee stains.

~D

Senior Envy

22 Aug

image

Sometimes I feel jealous of Senior Citizens.  I tell myself that someday I’ll reach those special years of amazement as well…but then I’ll think of the powers they yield and start to get impatient.

I’m jealous how they can wear pajamas to the grocery store, and not even think twice about it. 

…My Gram used to do it all the time.  There was this tiny market down town?  It smelled of raw beef and cardboard boxes, and when you went inside you’d know every person in every aisle, cuz everyone was a regular.  And for some reason, Gram (who was usually spiffed out in fully coordinated blouse and slack outfits), could walk through that store on a Tuesday morning, wearing a mumu in her house slippers with a scarf around her head, not bothered in the least by it.  These are the same people, mind you, whom she would fret about seeing a spill-stain on her new jacket on Friday, because the coffee cup had a leak.  The rationalization totally escapes me.  But I still wanna be able to do it.

I’m jealous how they can fall asleep anywhere, at any time.

…It takes me forever to fall asleep.  I can lay there for hours with my head just ticking away…thoughts, thoughts, thoughts…on a nonstop repeat.  Generally I only get about five hours in a night…sometimes six. But Seniors can fall asleep within fifteen seconds, whether they’re in a doctor’s office, the DMV, a football stadium, or even standing in line waiting for check-out. ( I’ve seen it.) Such power, and talent. I wanna be able to do that.

I’m jealous how nothing in life embarrasses them.

They can just fart in public.  Just fart.  Just like that.  What the hell do they care what you think about it?  Also they spend whole lunches together talking about things like their personal diseases and anatomy parts that don’t work…raising the stakes on one another like they’re betting their incapacities, medical procedures and ills, in a game of poker. “I SEE your psoriasis, and raise you an enema!” Or they’ll glory in how good their bowel movements are…grading them on a scale of awesomeness against seventy years.  “This one time, in ’47, I had just the greatest BM ever!” ” I had one in ’63 that completely changed my whole life, practically…!”

I’m jealous of their temper tantrums.

…Like small children, they seem to get a special “pass” for this.  Crotchety old men are like an American institution.  And everyone who has ever worked in any service industry, has been railed at at least once, by a sixty-five pound, blue-haired, ninety-year-old woman with a smokers rasp.  They are totally allowed to be giant dicks to anyone at any time, and we just sorta go along with it.  Why?  Because.  It’s in the constitution or something.

I’m jealous of their money management strategies.

People think Seniors aren’t up with the times, don’t understand the concepts of things like “inflation” and “alternate percentages.”  Please.  These people have lived through five wars, four economic depressions, countless droughts, fires, Tsunamis, hurricanes, Medicare, and the end of the world at least ten times.  They know what’s going on.  And they know how to make every fucking buck they’ve got, count. Can you blame them?! They are in a position of knowing from experience that it’s only a matter of time before shit hits the fan again.  So while we dance around with grins slobbered on our faces, buying rounds for everyone and using dollar bills for toilet paper in the high-times, they’re counting out fifty-cent tips for the asshole who forgot to refill their coffee cup at Dennys. Why? They understand the economy better than you think.  They’ve had to reinvent it the the last sixty times.

I’m jealous of their knowledge.

…These people know everything about everything. They’re better than the internet.  Go ahead. Test them:
 
Question: “Who was that one person in that movie, with whatserface, with all that rain?”

Answer: “Gene Kelly.”

Question: “How many terms was FDR in office?”

Answer: “Elected four times, died in last term, April 12,1945.  Was sixty-three.  Just a damn kid.”

Question: “How do you get out stains?”

Answer: “Dish detergent for oil, club soda for red wine, white vinegar for tomato-bases, add some salt for perspiration. Ink stain: with rubbing alcohol, isopropyl for grass and paint.”

Question: “What’s the difference between a B17 Bomber and a B29?”

Answer: “About twelve tons in payload, 70 MPH, 25 feet in length, and 1,250 miles in range. I know cuz I flew both of ’em.”

Question: “Why Velveeta cheese and SPAM?”

Answer: “No expiration date. Ever.  I think I still have some cans from 1956 if you wanna snack?”

Question: “Greatest invention of all time?”

Answer: “Sex.”

…And I am jealous how they can sit and appreciate things.

Old men will forever populate benches facing out into oceans of abyss. Little old ladies will never cease congregating in tea socials to gossip and munch in good company, like a park full of pigeons.  Grandparents will eat their grandbabies with their eyes and see the resemblance of every ancestor you have ever had in them.

…A spot of wine with a view.

…A summer sunset…

…Perching on a porch swing, just watching the people passing by. 

Taking a Sunday drive at leisure as the commuters honk and ride their bumpers the whole time. 

…They’ve perfected establishing a single snapshot of a moment…like they’re filling the rest of their photo albums up to take with them to whatever comes after all of this “living on earth” stuff.

I think we forget to do that. 

…I think it’d be good to learn it earlier in life.

I think someday I’ll get there.

…And I’ll watch the world just passing by and think:

“Sometimes I’m jealous of young people…”

…Which is about when, one of ’em will do something really stupid

And I’ll shake my head and smile to myself.

“Scratch that.”

~D

%d bloggers like this: