who dat? contest:
i wish i were english
I just swallowed an Altoid, whole. Just thought you should know.
And whats the final word on that "if you swallow gum itll stay in your stomach for 7 years" thing? Thats not true, is it? And what about dead peoples hair and nails growing for wait, I think its 7 years too. Oh my god, and isnt the term of bad luck when you break a mirror 7 years? Alright, this is getting spooky.
But the gum thing, I always just bought that, but Im starting to think. Stomach acid is pretty strong right well, not strong enough to melt that Slim Jim guy (what were the ad execs smoking?) but pretty strong. I was babbling somewhere recently about how the theatre term "break a leg" came about to bow after an exceptionally good performance entailed bending (or "breaking") your front leg in front of you. And columnist Jon Carroll promptly corrected me, that while the exact origin is unknown, the bowing thing is a total myth. So much for my NYU education because Im sure I learned that fucker in some overpriced class there. So I dont trust any information I depart anymore. Its probably crap.
OK, and now my stomach is starting to hurt. Am I going to die because I accidentally swallowed a curiously strong mint?
since Ive returned from vacation, my days have been taken up with work then straight to rehearsal for Twelfth Night. This group is so cool. Theres something here, something happening with this cast, something inviting and wonderful that I cant quite name, but I know. Weve had 3 table-reads so far and were it that we knew our lines, we could get up and perform it right now, thats how good everyone is and how much everyone clicks with their roles and each other. We spent the second half of last night studying "blank verse" (AKA iambic pentameter the verse of Shakespeare) and learning rules and ways to smash those rules. We watched parts of an 11-tape BBC series on acting Shakespeare with this big Afroed hunched Englishman in a cardigan and a tie talking about half-lines and feminine endings and elysian and then 20 or 30 English actors sitting around and jumping up to illustrate various points with speeches and scenes. Those actors included: Judi Dench, Ben Kingsley, Sinead Cusack, Roger Rees, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, (if youre a dramafag like me, youll be actually aroused at this point). And oh my god, do these folks make everything so clear. And theyre so endearing, the way they are sometimes unsure of something and try it anyway, sheepishly, and are of course brilliant. Patrick Stewart is just so endlessly impressive powerful powerful powerful. He and this guy illustrate how you should approach shared lines with this exchange from I forgot which play:
B: My lord?
A: A grave.
In case youre at all interested, the first line is the end of a "line" (a 10 beat footed line), and the next four lines are actually one regular verse "line" (see: 10 syllables) but shared four times. On shared lines Shakespeare means for, simplifying, the cues to be picked up. (With the possible exception of the second line, where "Death" could be the first beat of a short line, the next 9 beats filled with time for B to process the information, before he begins: "My lord?") And Patrick Stewart and this guy just flew through the lines, beautifully, all the meaning as clear as the born day. Incidentally, Patrick Stewart is one of the actors who requested to read my script and has it right now. Ive never liked Star Trek and thus, have never watched and thus, have never fully appreciated the power of the Stew-man. Goddamn. And Ben Kingsley, too. Oh, and Roger Rees (Cheers, Nicholas/Nickelby) did a "Fool" speech and was just on crack he was so good. English people: damn them.
At the beginning of rehearsals, a cast member who has probably done 14 of the plays, some more than once, told us that Twelfth Night has something very magical about it, that during the rehearsal process it is not necessarily tangible, but once you go up, something happens to the cast. Something you never forget. And I can see it with these people. I already feel that Ive fallen in love with the women playing Olivia and Viola. God, Im glad Im not in my wanton college days and that Im with someone, because those Production Hormones that actors get could cause some mean trouble here. (Evidence: Pamie and Eric fell in love while doing Twelfth Night together.)
Dustin Hoffmans company just gave me the big, "loved the script youre a great writer send us anything else you have but we cant use this one" speech. Well Sphere! So there.
Back at the Hall of Justice
my sister was in a bad mood one day recently and had to cross a line of pro-lifers outside a hospital where she was visiting one of her clients and as she passed she said to them, "Abortion, Aschmortion" and walked on. She doesnt know why she did it, but she soon had 15 confused but angry pro-lifers surrounding her monster truck holding posters of dead fetuses up to her windshield. Lesson: pro-lifers dont appreciate Absurdism.
Im going to Vegas tomorrow for
Jeffs bachelor party. Wish me luck gambling, and at my first trip to a titty bar,
The Larry King Happy
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