Tag Archives: performances

Run Away To Happy-Land

1 Apr

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I need a break.

…I need a break like a shipwrecked , solitary survivor of a major boating travesty, needs water.

Water.

…I need water.

Water comes in the form of side-tracking my exhausted-sleep-depraved-month-end-numbered brain.

…It also comes from England.

English water is the best kind.

…Although prob’ly not literally.

…Have you seen the Thames, live?!

I have.

…And how much do I hold that against them? 

Not at all. 

Not even a little.

I love their freakin’ water.

…”Water” in this case meaning, “Escapism.”

So, I’m goin’ swimmin’ in it.

Right. Now:

English Theatre I Would Rather Be Watching Live Right Now, Instead Of Almost Everything Else I Am Currently Doing With My Life

If you wanted to buy me an early Birthday present, any of the following would spin my top with joy.  In case you happen to have a bunch of bucks, just laying around:

* Judi Dench, Ben Wishaw (The Hour), and Ruby Bentall (Lark Rise) in Peter & Alice at the Noel Coward Theatre, through June.
(About the 1932 meeting of the woman who inspired “Alice in Wonderland” and the man who inspired “Peter Pan.”)

* Helen Mirren in The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre , through June.
(Mirren takes on the Queen again, in a series of private audiences, across her rein, with all 12 of her PMs. **Olivier Nominee for Best Actress**)

* James McAvoy and Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) in Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios I, through April.
(A Scotsman PLAYING The Scotsman! Shut up!)

* Rupert Everett in The Judas Kiss at The Duke of Yorks Theatre, through April.
(Oscar Wilde, his arrest, and imprisonment **Olivier Nominee for Best Actor**)

* Rowan Atkinson in Quartermain’s Terms, at Wyndham’s Theatre, through April.
(A hopeless English Teacher for Foreigners, and his co-Cambridge colleagues, across several years of time.)

* Anna Chancellor (The Hour) and Toby Stephens (Jane Eyre — also, Maggie Smith’s son) in Private Lives at the Gielgud Theatre, through September.
(Ra for Coward!)

* Deborah Findlay (Cranford) in The Winslow Boy, through May.
(A father’s fight to clear his son’s name in a theft under the spotlight of heavy media.)

* Jude Law as Henry V at the Noel Coward Theatre through February.
(I want! I want!)

* Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell (The Holiday) in Old Times At the Harold Pinter Theatre, through April.
(Darkly erotic drama of conflicting memories of a trio of friends across years of time.)

* David Tennant as Richard II at the Barbican Theatre, through January.
(Yes, please.)

* Ciaran Hinds (Jane Eyre) in The Night Alive, at the Donmar Warehouse, through July.
(A shyster, a chance meeting, a complicated lifestyle.)

* Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel) in The Weir at the Donmar Warehouse, through June.
(A pub, a stranger, chilling stories of the past.)

* Imogene Stubbs (Twelfth Night) in Third Finger, Left Hand at Trafalgar Studios II, through April.
(Two sisters, an attempt of reconciliation, reliving the turbulent upbringing that tore them apart.)

…Wow.

I want.

I want badly.

…Back to the lonely, thirsty island, I go.

~D

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Real Time

12 Jan

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Ladies and gentlemen, we are now in hour 1.52 of celebratory Opening Us-ness, post-performance.  Including dance parties via butts (so as not to piss off the downstairs  neighbors.) God.  We need to have a legit cast party at an actual house where we can lose our shit and jump around like assholes.

…We are such good examples of humanity to the youth of our cast. 

Guess what, though?

…Tonight is just grown-up time…with four almost grown-ups.  The Joe, a Marty, The Fella, and Me.

I’m restricted cuz of period pain pills. 

The limitation pisses me off. 

But we still managed to kill an entire magnum of Champagne in an over-sized Wine glass the size that God drinks out of…while playing “Thunder Struck”…which was new to me, cuz I never went to a Big-Ten college.

Then the Kracken and Coke and Vino were busted out…and the dance party got all yay-er.

…Also, we have a matinee tomorrow…or rather “today”…and there are Cheetoes in front of me.

…I dunno that this random stream-of-consciousness is gonna be as awesome when I read it in retrospect tomorrow…something like fifty seconds after the alarm goes off and I have to be in the shower. In fact, it prob’ly won’t…but at least I can say I fulfilled my blogging obligations for the day.

I am a responsible adult, dammit!

…Gotta go. We are apparently watching Katy Perry videos now.

~D

The Accidental Asshole & The Apocalypse

30 Nov

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Look, it wasn’t my fault.

…I mean it was my fault, but I didn’t do it on purpose, okay?

Moving into our final weekend of shows, there are all of I think three people in the cast now who don’t have a cold.  And I started it.  So I’m the giant asshole.  But not on purpose. I didn’t mean to do it. 

…I swear.

“Oh, sure,” they say sarcastically, while sucking on Halls drops and grimacing through cup after cup of hot Gollum Piss…their insides curdling and pickling and poaching while their outsides rain sweat and snot.

I am now to be surrounded by cold-zombies of my own making.

This is how the Apocalypse really happens, people.

Another plague.

Just one.

…We keep waiting for these giant earth-shattering asteroids, or for a sudden gravity shift to fling us accidentally into the sun…but what is really gonna happen, has already begun.

A tiny viral death.

…Roasting in clammy costumes…

…In a dusty theatre…

…Then picked up and sweated onto others, in humid backstage non-ventilation, and spread like evil air-born spores of awful.

…And we aren’t the only ones. The audience, living in it all night long, will bring it home with them. And the unsuspecting Ushers. And the Box Office Staff. Carrying it to school and work and home, to follow. Hell, we already infected five schools of children, on Tuesday alone! And they, in turn, will mack on each other in hallways and at football games and sweat all over one another in P.E. to continue the chain moving forward.

…Which, when given the doomsday end date of December 21st, makes total and complete sense.

Ask any Mom of a kid with chicken pox or head lice: that shit is potent and immediate!

Not to freak you all out or anything, but it is entirely mathematically possible, that THIS is the very last cold we will ever have…as like an entire human race, and things.

…Which, to my mind, makes daring to experiment with seven kind of cold meds simultaneously, (in hopes of gaining SOME phantom of relief at SOME point), not only permissible, but almost a requirement in the name of mankind. In order to extend our nature of function as long as possible…until the end finally comes.

One by one, we will eventually drop to the ground like discarded marionettes, overcome with fever-comas…only to rise again the next day, as freak zombie spawn, off to infect and induct more of our kind.

…Which means, back in the good old days when Bible-thumpers were damning prostitutes and actors with the same breath, calling theatre’s the deepest cankers of disease and damnation in all of humanity…apparently they were right.

…But listen: we were all gonna go someday, anyhow. At least this way, you’ll go out entertained, laughing, while pissed out of your mind on good drugs and alcohol, with your best friends by your side. Not taken down in a burst of fire and brimstone, hollering screams of agony.

So: You’re welcome for that.

…Now, don’t you think you should show your appreciation to us while you still can, and come on down to see the show? Cuz I think it’s the least you could do.

The last three performances of “Twelfth Night” (quite probably, EVER.)

…Don’t be the one poor sunofabitch who missed out.

~D

Exercising Demons

18 Nov

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Sometimes Actors like to go a little suicidal and play really close to the edge of the cliff. 

…In other words, they will take something that has huge personal relevancy, connotation and emotional cost, and exploit it for artistic means…which is a brave, twisted, painful….and some would say, “sick” thing to do.  But it is how people connect with truth. 

Being naked means a lot more than just taking your clothes off. 

…The most naked I’ve even been in my life, had me in three layers of 1940’s clothes, sporting a Dutch accent.  Clearly that wasn’t “me” up on that stage.  Clearly I had plenty of things to “hide behind” in the voice and look and age that I was portraying. But, because the story content was so very personal to me…because the character I was playing was a real person, whom I had studied and knew from my childhood…because the themes and History of it had helped to form me so much as a reader and artist, and human…the role had wormed its way to my innermost guts, weaving a special new fiber of marriage with not just my mind’s creative sector, but key emotional centers, and physical expressions. 

It quite frankly took me over. 

…Not all at once.  But at some point, every night, I would lose myself it it fully, without even being conscious of it…and the only point that realization would kick in would be at the shows end, when I’d sorta wake with a start, to the audience beginning to applaud our work.

…It’s the furthest I’ve ever been, the most raw I’ve ever felt, the most emotionally draining thing I’ve ever experienced, by far…on any stage.  And though you learn so much as a person, as an Artist, when roles like that (few and far between) come along…it is still a terrifying aspect of what we do, for everyone who is willing to travel that journey. 

…Fighting your personal demons in public is as naked as you will ever get, my friends.  And agreeing to it, embracing it, and not holding back, is riding that suicidal cliff edge, where some people can’t handle the mind-games it pulls on you, the nightmares it brings, the depressions that it can usher in, the sleepless nights, and obsessive pushing to places you have purposely left behind closed doors, to grow thick with dust and cobwebs and never be seen or heard from again.

Yesterday, I walked down the corridors and unlocked one of those doors, letting out not just vacant dustballs and “remember whens,” but a whole fucking Pandora’s box of shit. 

I knew it would happen. 

And I did it willingly. 

…And it actually mentally, emotionally and physically altered me for the remainder of the day, and well into performance last night.  An inconvenience when you have another show to do, and another character with other traits placed entirely where your head isn’t, and won’t be, due to the cost of being naked on a stage several hours earlier.

Callbacks were yesterday, just before our performance.

…With one hour and fifteen minutes buffer, a group of us, talked and ate and joked and tried to redirect our brains to better places in order to prep for this other thing we were soon needing to do. But on the inside, several of us who had vomited all to-real emotions out on the stage less than two hours earlier, were play-acting our way now through “life” because we were actually in no way prepared to merely dust off the age and disgust of the long locked rooms we had opened in our private-most inner sanctums. 

…In fact the room was so overwhelming before even barely crossing the threshold that it took two scene reads before I could calm myself down enough emotionally to USE the feelings instead of letting them completely overwhelm me.  I felt swarmed.  My body actually physically shook beyond my own control.  I had to concentrate so hard on the words to get them out with the proper amount of emotion and not the sea of it that I was feeling, that the poor bastards I read with had little help in their own work, from my direction. 

…But in time, I was able to wrangle my grasp onto it.  Could get on the back of it, as it thrashed around, and manage to stay on, and stay focused and stay with my scene partners.  And though it was only several passes at four scenes…neither of them the big emotional reveal and peak that the script eventually rises to…just knowing it was there…that the words I was speaking were in defence of this unspoken thing…that every line had a double meaning, later to ruin and/or alter people’s lives forever…and knowing that I once knew and fought that battle too…was a palpable thing. 

Exercising a personal demon.  Being brave enough after all these years to walk up to it, getting grip of it’s mane, and swing onto it’s back with determination that this time…this time, I am the boss of it, and I will use it to my own devices and needs…

…Because I have EARNED this moment. 

I’m done living in a house with another door I’m too scared to open.  Of course there are other attics and basements filled with personal fears and painful memories, too.  But yesterday, I decided this one won’t be among them anymore. 

…I may or may not be given the opportunity to air it for an entire audience.  Casting calls are still yet to be made.  But even if I don’t…for a day, in front of more strangers than friends…I faced that certain beast.  Which is more than I’ve done since the day I first locked it away.  And the sizable personal victory…followed by slightly sickening after-shock once coming down from the adrenaline rush, was worth it.

If not on stage, then in some other way…I’m ready to get this shit taken care of.

…And it feels horrible, gut-wrenching, good.

…And if you’re an Artist of anything…you totally know exactly what that means.

~D

Pirate WiFi & Scriptopia

18 Sep

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I would first of all like to publicly thank the new neighbor in C1, who decided NOT to password protect their wireless signal.

…Those two days where I was kinda pissed from all the stomping around and nailing things at all hours, that they did?  I’m totally over it now.  And I’ll try my best not to watch weird circus porn (apparently it exists, you guys, and I just found out about it)…or steal too many torrent downloads while on their network. Because even through I am a Pirate, we still have “codes of honor” and  things. And the first one is that Pirates don’t “accidentally” crash other people’s systems while pirating from them. Because that’s just rude.  Although, it’s entirely possible that since my Android pad is really a “phone,” they don’t even know I’m ripping signal from them anyway…due to Ice Cream Sandwich being way more awesome and stealthy than a Windows platform.  Or whatever the hell Mac runs on. 

…Which basically makes me kind of a Pirate Ninja, really.

Tell me I didn’t just get cooler right now.  Go ahead. Tell me.

…So thanks, C1 for the free juice.  Maybe my hotspot will quit maxing out now, and I can watch Netflix streams until my eyes pop out.

Anything is possible, friends.

In Other News: It is time to start making out with m’script. The joy of highlighting (orange, thank you) has already commenced. I’ve done a couple skim-throughs, and tonight I start hashing it up with notes…till it roughly resembles a road map used by someone in a foreign country, who really really likes to make liner notes. Tomorrow: begins the memorizing.

…Fuck how I hate it so.

…It’s a Shakespeare, btw. “Twelfth Night.” I’ll be the saucy wench-cuz, Maria. (Of course.) And where that isn’t exactly a far stretch in character range for me, (no!) I haven’t done a Shakes in like eight or nine years now…so gettin’ back into the flow of things will give me something to push against and reach for.

Fun role and one of m’favorite shows in the cannon.

This, more than any of the others, really balances out into a true “ensemble” cast of complete, rounded characters. Everyone gets to play at all levels and have their day. And it’s one of the very few wherein the strong female central role doesn’t have to pay for her power, out the ass, sometime later.

(…Hello, Lady Mackers, and Kate and Gertrude et al…I’m talkin’ ’bout YOU.)

…Our leading lady is “M” (of “Agatha Christie In Spandex” fame), just in case you were wondering. So that’ll only be an effing hoot-and-a-half. Should get quite a few people’s butts in the seats, too.

I know mine would be, if it weren’t already busy on stage at the time.

…I can only imagine the kinda blogs I’ll get outta this one. A lot of the cast are old friends, but there is a large rush of new blood in the ranks as well. So we’ll have the freak-troops of olde, intermingling with first timers to infuse gobs of energy. Plus, it’ll be the first time I’ve set foot on that particular stage since last December…when I was doing that little singing, drinking, dancing, crying and dieing, ditty..throughout the Holiday season.

…So this’ll be a little different, then…pretty much all ’round.

I say thee, ye!

…And with that, I’m off to steal signals, search the webs, and scribble in study. Like the good little Pirate-Wench-Ninja, that I am.

Cheers!

~D

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