Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Man, when I get out of the habit of blogging, it is hard to go back. But I need to get with it, I know. Things have been busy. And I feel guilty about blogging when I have lines to learn.
Jackson just got over the stomach flu. That was fun. Poor baby had about 36 hours of off and on throwing up and then he decided it would be easier to just let it all out the other end. Messy, but at least I didn't have to chase him around with a bowl anymore. Too much information probably, sorry. The first picture is of him sleeping in the chair with me. My baby never sleeps in my arms unless he is sick. It is very bittersweet. I cherish the time holding the sleeping boy, but I know it is only because he isn't feeling well. Notice the Spiderman balloon he is still clutching in his sleeping fingers. Jackson decided it was the best medicine that Walgreen's had. He is doing well now as the second pic shows. He likes to play in the rain. He is all recovered from his 2 week cold and then this stomach bug. We may have a few weeks of health to look forward to, until he comes in contact with something else his immune system needs to tackle.

I just finished a two-weekend show at the Round Rock Public Library. They do a murder mystery fundraiser every year and a friend asked me to come be in it as a favor. So I did. It was really well attended and the audience seemed to have a good time. I had more fun than I thought I would. The group that does the show are mostly city employees; library staff, police and city. They are not actors, they are not directors, they are not writers. They are not theatre people. They bring in a couple of local actors to fill in where needed. And it is not really up to the caliber of show I am used to doing. But they have a good time and the show was well attended. Apparently this is their 16th year of doing this fundraiser and they have several hundred regulars who come. They know the actors, for the most part, are city employees and they aren't expecting great theatre. Heh, they seemed to laugh harder when people forgot lines or the light board operator forgot to turn the lights off at the end of a scene and an actor said "Yeah, this would be a good time for the lights to go out." The group also has a stock line for when they have hopelessly forgotten their lines and they can't save it. My actor friends are going to die when they hear this, but true story, the person who is lost says "And that's all I'm going to say about that." Really. We had an actor say it. And the audience howled, making me wonder if the line is an open joke in this little library community. Anyway. I had a bit of a hard time with the extreme amateur nature of the production. Such as arriving on time to each rehearsal only to begin 30 minutes later and only because I got testy and said "can we go ahead and get started now?" I also kinda took over backstage with the props and such and probably left them all with the impression that I am a big ol diva. I didn't mean to behave badly and I am not sure that I actually did. It is just that I take theatre very seriously. You don't have to be a professional theatre to put on a professional show. And I simply could not relax and go with the flow with this group because to me, this is important stuff and little things like a dress rehearsal where no one drops character and/or calls for lines are to me, a crucial part of staging a show. And when people are paying $25 a ticket, IMHO "And that's all I'm going to say about that" should appear no where in the production.

The Scottish Rite Children's Theatre has begun rehearsals for my show, Robin Hood, directed by my best friend Andrea'. Andrea', who, in her infinite wisdom, decided to let me play Maid Marian. So I get to be an actor in my own show! It has been lots of fun so far. The three men in the play with me are pro's. Really. As a cast we are off book already and ready to spend the next few weeks perfecting things before we open April 21st. I have to shake myself a bit now and then, because this is such a professional theatre company that I sometimes feel a little out of my league. The guys really are fabulous character actors and I am, well, an ingenue who needs to loosen up in order to be interesting to children. I hope I can get it. But to be honest, it is my own fault. I wrote Marian as a "straight man" to Robin Hood, Little John and the Sheriff. I didn't mean to. I think. It just turned out that way. She is the central figure, around whom the action takes place. It was important to me that she not simply be a damsel in distress. She is the Royal Accountant and she is siphoning money from the taxes for Robin Hood to give back to the poor. She is important to the story and she takes action to change things, she doesn't just wait for Robin Hood to change things for her. But she is definitely the straight man. And for me, that is difficult to play. How do I make her interesting without dulling her serious function? She isn't dumb or ditzy. I suppose she could be clumsy...hmm. I just need to figure some things out so I can stand up there next to these men and not fade into the background. I am already working at rehearsals to project so I can be heard in the theatre without a mic. I know I will get it. And I am sure Andrea' will read this and make sure I get it. I just seem to fall back into self-doubt at the beginning of every rehearsal process. It's like I have to go through doubting myself in every role I play before I can kick myself in the pants and get it right. Do other actors do this? Am I the only one to play the "I'm not good enough, so I better work harder and make sure no one else catches on" game? I dunno. I am just an actor that requires a rehearsal process, I guess.

On a good note, the show itself is actually funny! I mean, I thought it was funny when I wrote it. And after workshopping it and making some crucial and wonderful changes to the script, I thought it was downright great. But rehearsing it with these very funny men and our very funny director has been a riot. I just can't stop smiling when I watch the guys sword fight with loaves of bread and I think (a la Sally Field), "Holy Crap, this is funny, it really is funny!"

Also, the Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Dallas has asked for us to come present the show for their kids in June! They will pay room and board and pay us for the additional shows. I am so excited. It will take some planning cause if I am gone on a Mon and Tues then someone will need to keep the small boy. But what an opportunity. I feel like a pro. Our show is going to tour to Dallas. I just hope that I don't get emotional about seeing the sick children. I have a hard time with that now that I am a mom. Hits you where you live really fast when you see a kid, just like your kid, who has some terrible illness. But it will be a good time for the kids, I am sure. Something different and fun. I am sure I can manage to deal with that.

1 comment:

The Holmes said...

Damn Marsha, you don't blog for a month and then you hit us with a novel ;)

I'm in total agreement with you about getting annoyed with lazy unfocused actor types. I think some of these are people who think that because their high school theater teacher told them they were talented, they can go through life acting like the main character out of a story in the Hollywood gossip section.