Saturday, February 13, 2010

Precision & Stillness

Last night I got to sit in on a tech week dress rehearsal run of Adore in the Steppenwolf Garage Studio. I was very impressed. It was their first full run in the space and it's already coming together quite well. The interaction between the actors and the video projection blended nicely to create a very precise ambiance. I was very engaged by the piece and it is the first piece of theatre I have seen in awhile that truly has a visceral bite to it. It's far from flat. From my work with Three Leaves I'd like to think I'm fairly hardened (after performing as Jerry Thompson in Magnet 4: Hyena where my character rapes a girl in the woods after helping his brother set her on fire) but I felt myself squirming in a few points. Adore is about homosexual cannibals (based off of true events) but goes beyond what could have wound up as a shallow, gross out horror piece. Adore has some very endearing moments and examines romance within a very unique scenario . The moments in which I squirmed were rooted in the corporal introspection which it stimulated for me. I don't want to give anything away, but there are several lines of dialogue which got my imagination running in a scary but sense heightening way. Stephen Louis Grush wrote a galvanizing, compelling piece of theatre. To be honest my interest in theatre has been reignited and I'm honored that XIII Pocket recently invited me to join their ensemble and can't wait to get further involved with the group.

This morning we shot a bedroom sequence at my place for Tea Man, Steep! For what will be most likely a twenty second clip in the movie we spent four hours in prepping and shooting the location. We took great care to dress the set and make it visually different from an average apartment. My character is very sleepy in this scene, in the waking process, so most of my acting involved lazing around in a bed. Easy enough? I'm finding though that I get very fidgety when I have to stay absolutely still for a shot, as though the precision of stillness spikes a discomfort in me. When I acted in James N. Kienitz Wilkins' Public Hearing this past October, I can clearly recall how weird my hands felt while holding still a cup of coffee at a very precise point as not to go out of frame or throw focus, gripping it through thick gloves underneath some very hot lights. My sweaty hands were just crying to twitch. Perhaps it's a good exercise in concentration, to get beyond the hyper-awareness of discomfort and continue to perform as a different character. But sometimes the discomfort can elicit an energy that can translate into a stewing kinetic spark for the character and can help heighten presence in a scene...or so I'd like to think. In the typical actor way of "using" a true feeling brought on by a circumstance in the shooting process to reflect and bring life to the character, I figure why not at least try to translate the fidgety/stir craziness into something. But then again it may be like what one of Robin Williams' professors said to him at Julliard. "Robin, what you just did is like pissing in brown pants. You felt great but we saw nothing." (ultra paraphrasia). Anyway, how very actor-ly of me to complain about having to lie still in a shot.

I had a very weird dream last night that I was on a journey across country, riding in a home mounted on wheels. There was a handful of us, all childhood friends all grown up. I was very excited to stake out a corner chair where I could see out of two windows facing out at a sun bathed mountain. I had a book in my hands that I was jacked to read but forget now what it was.

No comments: