I have this theory about acting and actors – now that I have tried it. First – this part isn’t a theory: Acting is HARD… really, it is. Now here is the reason AND the theory – Acting is HARD because you have to completely be someone else – you cannot let a piece of yourself into the character you are portraying.
I feel that actors are entirely selfless. Actors have to step outside of themselves and never let their “real selves” be on stage. I am a prisoner and if I’m doing my job right, you are seeing a prisoner – not Peg. I think that I am way too selfish and self-centered to be a good actress. You should just see the folks that are in Man of La Mancha.
For instance, I remember a rehearsal when Dana was blocking the Abduction scene. The guys playing the muleteers were really trying to be polite while they were – um – molesting Aldonza. Jess tried to make it easy on them – I remember she told them, “I don’t mind being touched.” I think they might have felt less self-conscious knowing that she was less self-conscious. In addition, she has been amazing, every rehearsal and every show, she has gotten new bruises and she never complained.
Robert fell on Saturday night, when he “died” and bruised his head – I mean he drew blood! Almost everyone has cracked his or her head on the set. Poor Anne dropped a cube on her toe and bruised the nail bed. Donna had eye surgery and she is still bravely wearing that horse head. Chris fell of the stage and bruised his back – badly!
These folks are awesome – so many great personalities. Jack is such a kidder – always quick to toss out a one-liner that is sure to fill the room with groans. Jeff is the self-professed “worst thespian, ever.” He never knows the shows or characters that we discuss, but he is a natural actor. Albert is quiet and seems deep in thought, but has the most amazing tales of performing on tour. Mike and Chris regale us with tales of youth and daring.
David is so sweet and kind and always has great gardening tips. He worked so hard on the set. He has a wonderful voice and is a very giving actor. Tim is too funny, talking about his WW points and his adventures in theater. Tola is from Nigeria and has hysterical stories about her sister. Cathy is a darling, sweet girl who never fails to bring tears of laughter to my eyes as she does the Moorish dance. Mike (I’ve mentioned him in another post) has a wonderful speaking voice (oh and he sings real well too!). It seems he’s pretty good at doing imitations although he wouldn’t do Albert for us.
They all have very funny theater stories. Chris told us about doing Godspell right in a church and a Nigerian bishop was sitting in the front row. He sang his first line and (he’s a spitter) saw a wad of spit fly out of his mouth and, in slow motion, roll toward the Nigerian bishop. Of course, it landed over his eye and the bishop very calmly used two fingers of his right hand to wipe his brow.
Robert told a story about how he was playing Curly in Oklahoma at Longwood Gardens. They taught him to ride a horse so he could ride onto the amphitheater stage and sing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” As he rode on for his song, the horse stopped and took a leak.
I have some good stories too – from years in the pit. It’s a whole nother show in the pit! I can’t tell you how many times stuff (or even people) fell off the stage and into the pit nearly killing someone.
I am truly enjoying this experience. I am glad I took a chance and auditioned. I am so grateful that someone gave me a chance to perform. I will look back on this time fondly. And it doesn’t hurt that the show is near and dear to my heart!