Thursday, 8 July 2010

Three Posts Around Acting

I have a bad habit of drafting posts and then never putting them up. This is a long one, which started as three posts but have similar themes, through written rather badly. They focus on Snatches, two nights of short plays and Candle Ends, a four night festival of word performance held at Brunswick Arts. Though I have split it up into further parts.

Part 1.1: Initial Thoughts.

D and I were watching Glee and at the end D said ‘How weird’. But I thought that that episode wasn’t all that weird. There was a story which had themes and ideas which provoke thought. The characters had to sing a song that described them, yet they sang songs about others, their fathers, their partners, which led me to think that we define ourselves by our relationships. I am A’s son. B’s Partner. C’s dad. This means that when you are in a relationship you can feel more culturally acceptable, when you are not in a relationship you can feel on the outer fringes of society.

Part 1.2: Snatches.

The 11th year of Snatches has just finished and I enjoyed it. I entered thinking I would just do one thing but then fell into a few. On Wednesday I performed in ‘I am a Mac’, ‘Celebrity Lover’, ‘Form and Substance’ and ‘Bonding’. On Friday I performed in ‘Seven Jewish Children’, and re-performed ‘I am a Mac’ and ‘Bonding’.

But I had more fun than some other nights and I think it is partly because I felt that I acted better. ‘Bonding’ on the Friday was so much fun, and to hear the laughter was beautiful. Afterwards I had a great time talking to everyone over a few drinks. I shall miss C and M when they go overseas. I will have to try and visit them.

I liked the performances of ‘Poem’ and ‘Did You Ever Stay Curled in a Ball’ on Wednesday and ‘Tell Them I Said Something’ and ‘Bucket’ on Friday.

I didn’t realise until I arrived at the theatre on Friday that Jack and I were going to do ‘Bonding’ again, and I started stressing. I hadn’t read the script for a couple of days, so I had to read the script a few times backstage whilst busily biting my nails off. The play before us was ‘Tell Them I Said Something’ (TTISS), and I had no idea how long it would go for and as I stood watching going through my lines and actions in my head I became immensely engrossed in the play. I was laughing and totally forgot my worries and that I was going on staged. I loved TTISS.

Part 2.1: Rehearsing for ‘Salome’ - Death

Every picture has a thousand words. Pictures and words, words and pictures. Pictures invoke words and words invoke pictures. Rehearsing ‘Salome’ I am being haunted by a picture. My lines are:

Jokanaan: Get thee behind me! I hear in the palace the beatings of the wings of the angel of death.

Herod: There is an icy wind, and I hear … wherefore do I hear in the air this beating of wings? Ah! One might fancy a bird, a huge black bird that hovers over the terrace. Why can I not see it, this bird? The beat of its wings is terrible. The breath of the wind of its wings is terrible. It is a chill wind.

Herod: I tell you there is a wind that blows … And I hear in the air something that is like the beating of wings, like the beating of vast wings. Do you not hear it?

And these passages make me think of the scenes in the comic Sandman the episode called “The Sound of Her Wings”, Death and her brother feeding pigeons.

I like Neil Gaiman’s death, she is happy and through the stories I think that she is portrayed as more than death, but the circle of life, or the wheel of reincarnation. Of cause Terry Pratchett has a great death as well. I have to get these images out of my head or I will start smiling when I say ‘the sound of the wings of the Angle of death’.

NOTE: ‘Poisoning Pigeons in the Park’ is a song by Tom Lehrer

Part 3.1: After Candle Ends Driving North

Sitting at Wallan Wallan thinking… Sometimes I just want to drive on for ever, through Wodonga, Yass, Sydney, Brisbane, for ever travelling. A journey of healing, thinking, singing corny songs, only stopping to read, sleep and drink.

I’ve seen a bit of theatre lately, or through Candle Ends and it makes you think. Or you chose to think.

Part 3.2: First Date – A Physical Theatre performance by Penny.

Penny’s (from ‘Born in a Taxi’) performance, her facial expressions and her physical struggle to pull words out of her mouth, made me think that ‘yes that is exactly how uncomfortable and difficult interpersonal interactions’ can be. And this month has been difficult for me. At the moment I would love to hide. And in a way that might be what I am doing here.

Part 3.3: Edward Albee’s ‘Zoo Story’

Colin was wonderful as Jerry in Albee’s ‘Zoo Story’, which also spoke about interactions. It was a wonderful performance, both funny and thought provoking. Colin was wonderfully believable as a man down on his luck and had us as the audience in the palm of his hand. Though I have seen it five times I am finding it difficult to recall my thoughts and can only recall the interesting line “I’ll try to kill him with kindness, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll just kill him”.

But I do remember thinking that we show love and interact with others using a whole range of emotions, love, hate and indifference. “But if such a loss, can be called a gain” and that it is partially through our interactions we define our selves. “With a cockroach, with a carpet, with god … and perhaps one day with a human.”

I have really enjoyed my time with M,M,A,T,E,C,et al, but I have not interacted that much. I have not been ready, but I think of them as great friendly people.

Part 3.4: Thoughts

“You cant say ‘A dog I know’ without sounding suss” – from ‘Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee

“To espresso or to Latte, that is the Question, whether ‘tis tastier on the palette to choose white mocha over plain, or take a cup to go, or a mug to stay, or extra cream, or have nothing, and by opposing the endless choice end one’s heartache, to froth, to sprinkle, perchance to drink.” – from ‘Something Rotten’ by Jasper Fforde

Lady Jumping Flea who sings bittersweetly, Ali G, whose audience participation was hilarious and so very clever. Poems from M and M,

I think I may be tired.

“Perchance to dream” – from ‘Hamlet’ by Shakespeare

“I’ve been to the zoo.” – from ‘Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee

Must get a copy of A’s lizard-chicken story

Talking with Peter and Erin, I love Erin’s I believe poem: “I believe in too much coffee and books, both to be shard with friends, unexpected guests.”

I’ve run out of three pens writing this.

I’m beginning doubt my acting ability. I’ve always known that I’m not brilliant. But lately I’ve been stuffing up too much in a variety of ways. I thought that Bonding was great and thought that I might have rediscovered something. But I thought that something went wrong with Salome and LLareggub, which is a shame as they are two of the most beautiful bits of poetry I have acted in. To perform, do I need to find a story that fits me, or do I need to change to fit a story? I wonder where I can take acting workshops.

My coffee is almost finished. I have to think about hitting the road again. It’s interesting driving under these conditions. The sky is misty with light spitting rain. Everything is ever so dark. If there is a car ahead you use their tail lights to read the road and if not you stick to the side, your headlights following the curves of the road. Mo moon and stars to light the way, cars either overtake or sit behind you, using you as their guide.

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