open, at long last
So it is Monday and Twelfth Night finally opened this Saturday. I must say it went fucking swimmingly.
Opening a show is always a nerve-wracking event, for all the predictable reasons. The things with this show was that we had been rehearsing for so relatively long that we just really needed an audience. And boy did we get one on Saturday night. Friday night during dress and Saturday day at home I did last minute work, clarifying moments Id been unsure about, going over last minute notes and blocking changes, and making mental adjustments. I dont like to look at acting in technical terms, but so much of it is even the actual meat of your performance can be filled with mechanics. I pride myself on being an exceptionally easy-to-direct actor, which while it does not mean that I wont stand up for my character if I think a note just doesnt work, it does mean that I often meet with puzzled glances from directors when they give me notes and I silently nod, write it down, and quietly say "got it". They are used to questions, comments, moans and groans. Meanwhile, Im not only writing it down, but mentally bookmarking it so that when I get to the certain part in the play, I automatically "move farther downstage to better find my light", or "use the need" on a certain line. And so that you constantly have to find the balance between being conscious of the technical aspects of your performance and the production, and sitting inside the character and acting truthfully under the imaginary circumstances.
In general Im about 85% happy with my performance in this play. There are certain things I never had time to explore to my satisfaction (for example I didnt get to spend enough time working alone on the set, specifying this fake world in order to make it more real for myself), and certain moments in certain scenes that dont quite feel organic, but on the whole Im mostly setting out to do what I wanted to do. The sold-out opening night crowd was, yes, a crowd of mainly friends and family, but their energy was so wonderful and supportive. And its true, it was just what we needed. The applause at intermission was surprisingly strong and robust, and then at the end fucking standing ovation. I still dont know how great a show it is (though I love the cast and think they are all immensely talented) I suspect it is fairly damn good.
And at our little reception afterwards, the lead girl in the film Whatever complimented me so I complimented her right back (shes truly great in that movie). Im especially excited because Julia Louis Dreyfus sister is in our show so Ill get to meet Elaine one of these nights. Hope she and Brad Hall dig me and hire me on the spot. (We can all dream, OK.)
And as I am a creature of nothing if not habit, I discovered a new opening night ritual: during the day I went to this old arcade down in the hood that has old video games and pinball machines. I played shit like Missle Command, Defender, and my favorite pinball game of all time: Creature From The Black Lagoon in 3-D. I have a plan to buy this game as soon as I get a few bucks.
So check this shit: I joked the other day about, now that they came in the mail, having me some TapLight love. Well, I did and I kid you not: the light emanating from the TapLight has some special mojo powers or something because damn! Im not kidding.
Lots of people went to the puppycam and fell in love with puppy Shakira at the Miami Humane Society. Midday Friday, I got panicked emails saying Shakira had been replaced by a hyper little black pup (which has now turned into 2 freaky but cute-as-hell little black pups). Well, I emailed the pound and the kind Kelly sent me back the following response:
"Nope Sassy Sharika is still here, but as you could see, she was simply getting too big for her apartment - so we moved her to an indoor, outdoor run and she has 2 roommates to play with. I will give her a hug for you today! Thanks for your kind support of our puppy cam!!"
So this means that anyone in Florida could still go rescue Shakira; someone like Sara! I wouldnt bust her balls anymore on this were this not what she wanted to get and carry around in her purse instead of having a real dog:
Disgraceful. Referring to this retarded-Muppet-looking thing as a "rat dog" is an insult to rats everywhere. (Speaking of Sara, read what some amateur sleuths have deduced. Funny.)
At your moms house
Go see The Insider. It is intelligent, well-paced, and boasts lovely performances from Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer, and Al Pacino. (Before the film started, I told M. that anytime Pacino went into 1990s-era Pacino overacting, Id poke her I did not poke her once in this movie. His "Hoo-Wah!!!" factor in the film is a zero.) I swear, 1999 is a damn fine year in film.
From the Shut The Fuck Up Then Department
Playwright David Hare, who recently launched the biggest English offensive on American soil since the Revolution by bringing the plays Blue Room, Amys View, Via Dolorosa, and just before, Skylight, and Judas Kiss to New York, is bitching about all things New York-theatrical in a new book. In the book, (which I HAVE NOT read) among other things, he apparently bitterly complains about being forced to perform 8 shows a week of Via Dolorosa (his one-man show) at Lincoln Center. As defense he offers forth Judy Denchs agreement that he could not handle that schedule as evidence that hes not just being a pussy. Excuse me you limey bastard who has seriously spread himself too thin and thus turned out a slew of far over-hyped mediocre plays ever since Skylight came limping into town: shut up. Professional actors always perform at least 8 shows a week. If you find yourself to hate acting and agree with the critics that youre not a very good performer: please, dont do it. Please. Leave it to those who sweat, live, and die to act. Thank you.
The Larry King Happy