Backstage Writers – Think Hope Do

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Postmodern Challenges – Defining Impact

Fans of the Metro 14

Julian plants himself in front of me. “Who do you love ?” he asks. The others snicker. I feel mortified.

He leans forward. I smell red wine and that enticing cologne he puts on just before rehearsals. “Who do you love ?” he barks.

Dead silence in the room. I’m blank.

Julian steps back and glances at the others. “If you can’t love, you can’t act,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

Julian’s High Moments

Julian forces us to go to cocktail parties. OK, to be precise, he gets us invited, and we never balk at an evening of “character research.”

To assume a role, he says, you have to understand your character’s high moments.  Most actors roll their eyes and remind Julian that he is not a youth center drama coach. We stick up for him and assure him it’s not just for the cocktail parties. “You need to ask a few probing questions,” Julian says, “learn where a person stands, discover his driving force. Is he passionate about his job, his hobby, his unique take on life? ” Thanks to him, we’re good at getting strangers to unleash their enthusiasm. Some of us could moonlight as head hunters.

People discuss the oddest things at cocktail parties. The other night the subject was amputation. The anesthesiologist was all excited because they’d managed to save the knee. “Don’t you see?” she said, “Below the knee makes all the difference to a more or less normal life.” Read the rest of this entry »

Jacques Meanwhile

As Mel carries on with his nose… (cf. Jacques’ Nose)

Mel’s prepping my skin. She’s right. It does help me concentrate. Her fingers tingle every stub of my beard. Amazing what that does. I love this chair. A firm seat does help. If only I could be like Vincent and jump on any girl. Vincent loves explosive love. I love Celine. Correction. I’ve got twenty nanoseconds to fall in love with Celine- dear little vitamin D deficient, long everything Celine. She drops her briefcase on stage, and I’m supposed to tackle her. Yeah! But why? Read the rest of this entry »

Jacques’ Nose

I got into doing make-up because I knew nothing about it. I’m a process person. I enjoy listening to the faces I dress. I study them from all angles, at nose distance or from the hallway looking into the loge, while rehearsing or in different lighting. If I know the actor’s going to pout at some point, I attenuate here, amplify there. I add a touch of charcoal or burgundy. Amazing what one can do with a dash of burgundy. I’m so full of my own science that they call me an artist.

They don’t have anyone else.

I wonder how many people have ever really looked at Jacques’ nose. Read the rest of this entry »

Center Stage – Someone Issued Fran and Tod Passports

I respect the US Passport Service. They’ve beefed up security measures and simplified renewal procedures all in one go. Still, somewhere deep in the bowels of this honorable organization, someone issued Fran and Tod passports. The result you can see played out “Center Stage” on the right free-text bar. To read the entire play as it is being written and rewritten, click on Center Stage in the center column under Pages. Feel free to post comments about the Center Stage scenettes  here.

Nothing is set in stone – Changes as they happen on Center Stage

-I’m not sitting here, Fran!

-Oh Tod.

-Don’t start that, Fran.

-He did say, “Center Stage.”

-Why us?

-We’re props, Tod.

-Why’d he choose us, Fran? We’re not the only Americans. We weren’t first in line. Is it my weight? Is it your-

-He looked so pleased to put us here.

-And so we’re just going to sit here ‘cause “Monsieur” looked pleased? Are you nuts, Fran?

-Oh, Tod. You wanted something contemporary… You like being on stage.

-I can’t even talk to you.

-Don’t touch them!

-There’s got to be a back door. Don’t want to step over your “Monsieur”. Why’s he standing guard like that?

-Tod, you never touch the curtains in a theatre.

-Why the hell not? Let me guess, because theatre is like life? Is that it, Fran? You don’t turn your back on anybody, and you don’t touch his curtains? You’re pathetic, Fran!

-Sit down, Tod.

-I don’t like that tone, Fran.

-What tone?

-That sweet little voice of yours! I hate it when you get all nice. I know what you’re thinking.

-If you don’t want to-

-Stop whispering, Fran!

-If you don’t want to be part of the spectacle, sit down and try to act-

-Act how?

-Now is not the time.

-Come on, Fran, how should I act?

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