Friday, November 04, 2005

Another week on the road out of the way.

Monday was a day of re-rehearsal. Trying to remember what the hell it was we were doing 3 weeks ago. We got there pretty quickly. Then, it was back out to the schools...

The low point of the week for me was on Wednesday (I think it was Wednesday, I should write all this down as I go along not try to remember it days later). During one of the shows Emma and I both woke up in the middle of a scene knowing that one of us had just said something and one of us should now say something else but neither of us knew what the hell it was supposed to be.

When I say "woke up" I don't mean that literally but after 4 weeks of doing the show we sometimes, inevitably, slip into autopilot and forget to do any acting. It's a weird experience doing a performance and not really being aware that you are doing it. What's even weirder is when someone says "You were good" when you have just sleepwalked your way through it. (Brian Eno famously decided it was time to quit Roxy Music when he realised he was thinking about his laundry halfway through a show) but (as normal) I am digressing...

Where was I?

Oh yes,

Emma and I were stood there staring at each other doing our now world famous Educationally Challenged Goldfish impersonations while time went all weird and slow around us. The eighty or so people staring at us ceased to exist. The room we were standing in ceased to exist. All thoughts of anything other than "What do I do?????" ceased to exist. All I could see was Emma's face looking at me with well-disguised terror on her face. The same, I hope well-disguised, terror that I was feeling.

One of us had to do something but what?

If I was making a film of that moment - he said digressing yet again, I would have used a "Push in Zoom out" shot (aka the "Jaws Shot") at this point. It's the shot that gets that strange distended background thing going on. It's usualy used, as in Jaws, for a moment of horrified realisation. A character sits or slumps, his eyes widen, a look of sudden revelation spreads across his face and suddenly the background behind him does this THING, it moves outwards from his head in a very unatural way - you can't quite work out what just happened, but you know it is very unsettling.

Anyway, after about 20 of so minutes of helpless piscatorial gasping Emma had the wit to grab the front of my shirt and drag me off the stage. This was how the scene is supposed to end. We had lost a couple of good jokes but at least we knew where we were. Thanks Emma.

Talking to Lorna and Chris afterwards it turned out that the whole time-dilated 20 minutes actually only lasted about 2 seconds in real time.

I'm spending a lot of time in strange toilets around the country at the moment. (I think I should rephrase that last sentence but it's late so I won't.)

In a pub in Inverness I saw a notice on the door to the men's toilet:

Please Do Not Write on the Walls

This is a Family Pub

Children Can Read!

Inside the toilet of this children-friendly family pub is a vending machine selling (and I kid you not) not only condoms in various flavours but vibrators, inflatable sheep "with orifice" (This is Scotland after all) and handcuffs - amongst other delights.

Some not very joined-up thinking going on there I think.

I got off the bus in Ballachulish just in time to meet the entire family walking down to the local fireworks display held, for the first time, in the quarry. It was terrific. Loved it. Holly was dressed up, and wrapped up, and had a balaclava, and earmuffs. The first time she saw a fireworks display she screamed and shook and was terrified. She is still is very wary of them and doesn't like the bangs at all so all the wrapping up and padding was more of a comfort and security thing that any pretection against what is a reletivly mild night.

Daisy, on the other hand, gurgled pointed and clapped all the way through it. She loved every second of it. This was her first firework display. I still can't figure out how they are so different.

When we got home Holly had a lolly for being so brave and good at the display. Daisy saw the lolly and wanted it too - but instead of screaming and shouting, or trying to grab it she carefully and deliberatly dressed herself up in Holly's, now discarded, street clothes and, I guess, became Holly and was therefore entitled to have the lolly. Only when she had Holly's coat and boots on did she try to get the lolly off her big sister (who by then, just to confuse things, was wearing Daisy's cast off outer coat and was "Being Daisy") .

We dug out another lolly.

18 months old and she's into method acting...

And so to bed...

1 comment:

Phoebe J. Southwood said...

Welcome HOME!!!

1) I think the moment of terror Jaws shot you are referring to is called a rack focus. I believe that the way it is created is this way:

-Subject is in the frame.
- At the moment of terrifying realization, the camera is rolled IN on a track while the focus is zoomed OUT simultaneously.
- The subject stays relatively the same size, while the world around vibrates in a way.

I've played with it with a little video camera. It's a bitch to get the timing right, but it's a lot of fun.

2) Orafice? Dear LORD.

3) Wish I could have been at the fireworks!

I love that people are born so different!

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