Thursday, June 3, 2010
Parable of the Wannabe Actor, Part II
Parable of the Wannabe Actor, Part Two
A great actor once said, and it may have been Sir Lawrence Oliver, "The best part of theatre is getting drunk after the show." I agree totally with him. I would never get drunk before the show or during the show (some actors are known and have been sound recorded entering the dressing room after a scene to take a nip).
I want full concentration before going on stage. Now this may be most difficult if the actor is also director and/or producer, as he must deal with his cast and their myriad psycho-artistic issues.
But I will do my best to focus on my time on stage, especially if it is a monologue, for I will not follow the script under any circumstances, well, I may follow the basic script, but one reason I want to focus beforehand is because I know I am not going to follow the script, but at the same time I have no idea whatsoever what I'm going to say, except that I am determined never to say the same thing twice, similar to the jazz musician who never plays the tune the same way, ever.
I would die if I had to follow the script each night without any changes whatsoever, but as I say, one must give respect to the other actors who may have ques, thus the basic text must be followed at certain points, at least when another actor is about to enter, otherwise you throw them off.
Now as actor/director/producer, one can say to hell with the other actors, though this is the height of arrogance and disrespect, for actors value and treasure their moment on stage, so there must be humility, even when the actor is also director/producer, meaning he has put the most time, energy and effort into the production, also writer. Thus, he has written the script, carved himself a part, raised the money for the production, directed it, so, yes, he is apt to be a bit arrogant, especially is the other actors sole input is to enter on stage to say their lines, then exit.
They have not promoted the show, sold one ticket, or invited anyone, including their mama, to the show. At the same time they want equal billing on promotional material, including posters, radio and television ads, etc.
So, yes, the best part of theatre for me is getting drunk after. Alone! Not Amiri Baraka style socializing at some restaurant and/or bar after the show. No, let me ease out the side door and slip home, no bar watered down drinks, no small talk with VIP theatre Negroes. Let me go to my hotel room and get drunk in peace. After all, I was on stage baring my soul, telling all and beyond all, why do you want to suck me dry, cannot I save a little of myself for myself?
Let me get drunk alone, the applause was fine, I loved it. I loved that it was a packed house, so packed people were sitting on the stage, in the aisle, but now I want to come down, no autographs, no smiles, leave me alone, I've given my all. Por favor! Basta ya!