Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Picnic Saga...

I really have no idea where to begin with describing what an incredible experience this has been. As I have said before, I have been invovled in theater for some time but there has always been a plateau I have never surpassed. I never seemed to really become a character in the aspect of losing yourself for those hours you're at the theater. I am not saying that in the past I did not really try, but I never got that deep down feeling that I wasn't somehow still myself. It sounds pretencious and corny, I know, but...well, it's hard to explain.

Anywho...on to Picnic. I am currently acting the role of Alan, the good guy. Totally emasculated, momma's boy, door opener, asks a girl to kiss her kind of guy. Really interesting dynamic, mostly because I truly think he in some small way he doesn't want to be this way. He's almost forced to play a role himself...the standard 1950's clean-cut, God fearing man, that dodes upon his beautiful wife. It's not that Alan wants to be a "bad boy", but his upbringing and caste in society demands he act a certain way. In conversations with Hal you can imagine and almost hear the excitement Alan has about Hal's conquest of the female sex and all the wild "real-life" experiences Hal has been through. Think for a moment back to when you were a kid, especially if you're a guy, you always would have rather been James Dean, Jimmy Cagney, or Marlon Brando instead of some respectful, book smart, hand holding good guy. WHY? Well, that's easy, they always get the girl and they do it with flair! And we all know that the girls, at least where I grew up, always had more of a soft spot for the "bad boy" they could fix then they ever could for the nice guys they kept around as "friends".

Like I said before, I have never really delved this deep into my imagination in doing a role. I never thought beyond the words on the page. This journey all has come from some advice I received from my director/mentor, watching 1950's movies, reading, a NY city actress that was nice enough to share thoughts with me, and my fellow cast members. It has really energized my acting process and made me think that there is a myriad of places I could go from here. It will be interesting to see how opening night and the run goes.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Theater...What a boring place without it!

When I tell people I have a show to do, at my real job or elsewhere, I still marvel at the reaction and the questions. "You act? What play are you doing? WOW that sounds fun!!" The ability that theater has to help people escape, actors included, is what makes theater so amazing and desired. I have been involved in one way or another in some sort of theater since the ripe old age of 14. High school productions, community theater, dinner theater, improv, independent film (really independent, didn't even finish independent) if I could be involved; I was. I have seen all the typical theater things....Phantom on Broadway, Summer Stock Shakespeare, CATS (ugh), Godspell, Joseph. I have also realized, by keeping my Playbills, that I have seen some pretty damn successful actors in my time (ie: pre-Seinfeld Jason Alexander in Jerome Robbin's Broadway). I own Judy Garland's famous Carnegie Concert..double CD. I have read/studied about Meisner(favorite!!!!), Chekhov,etc....you get the point.

The fact that I get paid to do improv and dinner theater (no I'm not rolling in it nor do I consider myself a professional actor) still amazes me. I don't really know if I would travel like I do for those performances and do it for free, but I do perform in community theater for nothing. So at some deeper level, I guess I would. I have never had an actual college level acting class. I tried to take one at the local college and the professor was more concerned about rambling on about how the Republicans were destroying the world. So, upper level classes really turned me off. Any acting ability I have mustered has come from great actors , directors, and mentors that I have talked and worked with, who are just fellow people that share the same passion. The famous quote is, " I learned what I know by standing on the shoulders of giants." or some close copy of that.

So currently, I am involved in a theater production of Picnic by William Inge and doing a variety of dinner theater shows for Maine Street Entertainment/Mystery for Hire. I would give the website but, it is HORRIBLE and the actors are staging a revolt shortly to have the site updated and more presentable. Go if you must, I beg you not too. The two styles are completely different and for me require completely different attitudes and mindsets. I feel I could do dinner theater in my sleep, but Picnic...completely different story. Some nights I can't sleep because of Picnic.

Since, the beginning of rehearsals for Picnic I have been following "Diary Friday" at www.sheilaomalley.com. She describes in detail her 16 year old ordeal with this play....and it's fascinating!! So, not to rip off Sheila's great idea, I think I will track my progress through this show and give you my struggles and ecetera. This project will help me keep my fantasy world alive for a little bit longer, one which I have come to love by the way (even though I lose the girl!!). So, Sheila, I apologize and I hope you understand why I am doing this. I will also, give you the low down on my dinner theater stuff too!! Which means I will be posting some time aroud 2 am tomorrow morning after I get home from my 6 hour roundtrip drive to perform Murder Most Medieval for some hungry, and probably drunk, people.

Unitl next time...

Been a loooong time....

Well, so much for thinking that a blog was an easy things to do. Between life commitments, theater, reading, golf, and work (notice that was last) my blog time has taken a considerably diminished role in the grand schema of my life. I vow to you, yes you the one person that may read this, that I will make more of an effort to keep up with my ramblings and life in general.

MENTAL NOTE: Dude,(my mind speaks surfer from time to time)you have had no comments to any post you have made! Why on God's green earth are you writing an apology to no one?

Anyway, I am back.