Tag Archives: reads

McWinkerson

9 Jan

So here’s a first: think I put the wrong contact in my right eye…cuz everything’s been blurry and off all day. And it’s more than just a little annoying. At this point in my paper working day,  it’s given me a headache and made me nauseous. 

…So now I’m taking my “lunch, ” pacing the office while winking through one eye so I can type this without vomiting. 

(…she said, with hope.) 

It hasn’t been a great Monday. 

…But I’ve had worse. 

(…this is me: being positive .)

Oh,  hey,  and while we’re on that subject: didn’t get the show,  but did book a paid stage read in Feb. So…that’s like getting the vaccination shot and feeling only nominally like shit, versus not getting the shot at all and wasting away without aide. 

… I still feel diseased, but with the “good drugs,” so I don’t notice it as much at the moment. 

…Which is helpful. 

…What isn’t so helpful is the pacing and writing with only one eye. Things are getting squidgy. 

Shut it down, dude. 

But first: if you haven’t yet — see Bright Lights, and find whole sadness of joys. And also: add to your life-list for someone to creative-crush on you as eloquently as Viola Davis does on Meryl Streep. And also: try to be more like Meryl Streep…just like you know: in general. 

Over-and-out. 

~D

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We Were Dating,  Now We’re Not

2 Dec

Doing a show is like having a whirlwind romance, where you meet and get married in like a week, and said relationship lasts with total devotion, until you unceremoniously strike your home and get a Mexican divorce–however long your run is-days later.

…Because working on a character across a full rehearsal and production schedule, is absolutely consuming and requires not only devotion of time and physical and mental presence, but also through sickness and through health, as long as you both shall live (together .) 

…And it doesn’t matter if you “have a headache tonight, ” or “really need some alone time, ” or “start to feel suffocated” by their insistent presence. Doesn’t matter that it seems you –at times– have absolutely put yourself and your needs on the back burner and have from time to time gotten completely lost inside the relationship, which starts to blur (as time goes on)  in fully realizing just where you end and they pick up (or vice versa.) 

…You see each other through your finest moments,  and miserable worst, and yet you are able to commit fully to this marriage because –I guess,  really– of two things:

1. You have made this commitment with full knowledge of what is required of you, in front of all of those witnesses, who will hold your ass to it, by supportive teamwork. 

2. This passionate affaire, has a sell-by date, which you are also fully aware of on the outset, so: there’s really just no damn excuse not to give it your all,  while you can. 

At this point,  I’ve been married –MANY times. 59, in fact. I make Liz Taylor and Mickey Rooney look Catholic by comparison. And luckily for me,  I’ve enjoyed the HELL out of the bulk of them, and have bins and books full of our Honeymoon days together, which already make me misty-eyed with memory,  and I’m not even middle-aged as yet. 

…The thing is: as great as the bulk of those marriages are in my memory, there is even something singularly satisfying in the terrible ones, in that: I made the absolute best effort I could to make it work out, and even if it ended shitty,  I know that to be true. 

…Because I actually really really love to “commit.” 

…(In a show, that is.) 

…But along with these “marriages,” I’ve also had me some “flings.” 27, of note. And these,  while intriguing, only seem to mostly “hot and bother” me, and while enjoyable in the moment, leave me as unfulfilled at their ending, as a one-night-stand. 

–Which, in fact, most of them ARE.

The Staged Read, is an enigmatic animal. They are considerably lower maintenance than a real relationship in that you don’t live with the character. At most, you might workshop (or, “date”) it for a few days, but by and large, it’s just a tease. 

…Even if you really like the character. Even if the cast is a dream. Even if your Director is creative as fuck. You still are hampered from full investment to grow it into a real relatonship, because Staged Reads are the flings we have in foreign countries, while on Holiday. They aren’t allowed to become more than that, because of your surrounding circumstances, even if you really, really, really like them, and you get on with total ease, and know you could make the most magnificent children together…

…And even knowing this, a lot of the time, you still can’t help getting sucked into the “what if,” daydream which sometimes comes with the really, really special flings.

…These will be the ones you always pine over, the ones you wish you could learn all the  secret intimacies about…everything from the corny, “how they take their tea, ” to the deeply sheltered truths they hide… the ones that even though you held them for a moment,  you can’t help but think that they are one of those ones who,”got away. ”

Yesterday’s “Joe Egg, ” read is one of those for me. 

We dated heavily for several weeks, and it was disturbing but so enlightening, and…She’s gone now… 

…Out of my life… 

…The supremely gifted family: broken up. And though I am so very satisfied to have met the role at all,  never mind with this amazing group of people — I know in my gut-parts, she and I would have had one of THE best marriages that I have ever had…

…If only…

If only.

~D

Earnest, My Lover

4 Mar

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Here we are…halfway through the run of “Miracle,” over the hump of that 16 shows in 17 days marathon, back at performances as usual tomorrow, while today I have first read to begin the next show.

It’s the first time I’ve ever remounted a role, which is going against the grain for me.

…Whatever character I take on, I put everything I’ve got into it…so good, bad, or otherwise, there is no need to revisit them to my mind.  Obviously I could have taken later lessons and instilled them into earlier characters in my career to make the work more solid, but performance art being what it is…one could always say that, then end up playing the same 5 roles your entire career on repeat.  No thank you.  I learn what I can from each, and move the fuck on.  It’s healthier that way.  Even for the ones I really, really love.

…But this re-visit comes from what I’d call “unfinished business.” And it is also allowing me to work with one of my favorite artists I’ve ever shared a stage with.  The fact we had both done the same show before, is anything but adding dust to an old already-written book, as his role has now swapped and we’ll be firing on all cylinders in a trilogy of romantic mayhems together.  Our last chance to touch upon that regime was in “Importance of Being Earnest,” where we first realized the mad-cow totally platonic chemistry we apparently swim in together…which amuses the fuck out of us both, I think…as I doubt two more totally NOT interested-in-one-another-at-all people could be found. 

…The joy of finding a performing  “yin” to your “yang,” the always “yes-man” to every idea…the person who you can literally go anywhere you can mentally and physically conceive of, on a total whim, which for some reason just always fucking works…THAT is a hell of a lot of fun to play and work with. Actual communication isn’t even a necessity of the beast…it’s like we’re artistically wired to the other’s guys idea-sector.

…Which, given that it’s period and farce, outrageous and scintillating, means I’ll have a lot to keep my mind busy and inventive, and  joyful as I wave goodbye to my favorite role to date.  The transition will be far less bumpy with a buddy at my side…several buddies in fact. 

…Sometimes being “The Woman,” ain’t all bad…

Hark, “39 Steps”…it’s me again.  Grab the wigs n’ handcuffs…eets time to plaaaay. 

~D

Anticipa…….tion

21 Jun

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Tomorrow, at noon, JM picks me up for the carpool and we motor north for our first read through, where Earnest will be…well…a lot of other people (and I’ll be quite a few as well.)

…And then Earnest, JM and I will return for our evening performance.

There are flip-flopping nerves involved.  Because neither of us are really farce people (as actors), he’s terrified of the 60 characters with varying accents he will be playing, and I’m terrified of just plain sucking.

Actors are so lacking in self confidence, it is amazing how we even get out of bed in the morning.

Even being part of a 5-out-of-5 critically acclaimed show, doesn’t seem to lessen our nerves about tomorrow.

…And meeting new people.

…And reading with them for the first time ever. (As we were all individually pre-cast)

…And the strange knowledge that ‘tween this and about three weeks to opening, we will never be in the same room at the same time again. 

Earnest is getting married directly after our current show, and Honeymooning going into the second.

…So that leaves the rest of the us’s to work around a total weight-lifting role, until he returns to us.

…And then, as it is a travel show, the fun of teching and working it twice, for two different theatres.

Have done a tour only one other time before.  I thought (at the time) it would totally throw me, but the adjustments were actually a really awesome challenge in discipline. In that case we went  to many more locations, with only a few hours tech adjustment before the show, and it will always be one of the most amazing performing experiences I will ever own.

…And with this show, I’ll be back in one of my fav periods: Noir…with all the ridiculous open-house homaging one can possibly fit in.

…Which just brings to mind what an incredibly varied and amazing season I’ve had this year.

A very thankful, tired, Gwendolen smiles in contentment.

…Now: off to bed.

Long day ahead of me, crammed full of fun.

~D

Next! (And, In German)

19 Jun

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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:

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…All aboard!

~D

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