Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Well the show's over. Two weeks spent learning my lines and where to go to say them (and which character I was when I did - we doubled up a lot in this piece; I played six characters in a one hour show) - thankfully there was very little furniture to bump into on the stage and it was a fun show (if a little melodramatic at times - but it was aimed at kids). And one week actually performing.
It was a nice little gig but I'm happy to put away the Dr Strangelovian pseudo-German accent that has been driving the family up the walls for three weeks now. Chunks of the show were very loosely scripted and, to a degree depended on audience reaction, while other places were dictated by the need for something to be happening while people frantically changed costume before they came on again. This show was done on the floor of school halls with the audience sitting in rows on three sides. The size of the area we worked in varied according to the size of the audience, which depended on the size of the school. With thirty bums on seats the floor space was quite small. With one hundred and fifty we were suddenly acting in the middle of something that felt like a football pitch. It is surprising how much longer it takes an actor to get off stage and change costume when they have to cover an extra few meters to get off stage. I couldn't just speak slower to cover the extra time needed, I had to be able to stretch out the moment while still being in character. So I needed to be able to think on the hoof in the voices of the Herr Professor and The Game-show Host and improvise bits. Playing with their voices while not actually acting them helped a lot - I'm sure there's a dead posh actorish word for all this but I haven't a scooby what it is. It did start to get very irritating though.
Any script I act in gets very loose when I'm near it. I start out with good intentions and learn all my lines like a good little actor but when I actually come to get them out... well, to paraphrase the great Eric Morecombe "I was saying all the right words - but not necessarily in the right order." For the most part this didn't cause a great deal of trouble with this show. Most of my stuff was physical (Comic Staggering Drunk who turns to tragic mess by end of show) or basically long monologues, so, if and when I did wander away from the exact words on the page, it didn't matter that much so long as I got the main points in - and gave the next guy the right feed line at the end of it all.
Which I sometimes did.

Now, several days later, Phoebe and Tyler are here (huzzah!) after a Marathon 156 hour flight from Portland during the course of which, Phoebe's luggage went AWOL. Again! This happened the first time they came to visit some six years ago. Her bag was delivered here 24 hours later.
It's great having them here. They're so comfortable to have around.

My eyes it turns out are fine. I finally got ushered into the "other room" on Saturday and spent about fifteen minutes with my head inside something that looked half like a high-tech nineteen fifties hair-dryer turned on its side and half like something Stanley Kubrick would have loved to have used on 2001. Fifteen minutes staring at a bright dot on the inside of a bright white hemisphere and clicking a button every time I saw a flash of light in my peripheral and not so peripheral vision. The result of all this intense staring and clicking was that my retina was 100% fine and not peeling off in chunks, or whatever it is that happens in Gloacoma.
Staring at the blank whitness for so long without moving my eyes and trying not to blink while I did it was a very disorientating and slightly trippy experience which I hope not to have to repeat.

I wonder if Jet Lag is contagious.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm seeing the opticians on Saturday, apparently he needs to stick my head in a machine to see if I have glaucoma or not. A couple of weeks ago I went to have an eye test, a visit prompted mainly by my loosing both my pairs of glasses. And as a result of routine screening things the optician said there are a couple of indicators that point to me having a problem. The test I'll be doing on Saturday will be a definite yes or no. The reason he couldn't put my head in the machine last time was because it was, "In the other room". So whether he has to get it out specially, or we have to actually go to the 'other room' which for some unspecified reason was not get-intoable last week I don't know. All I know is I shouldn't look up words like 'glaucoma' on Wikipedia without having a stiff drink to hand. As you know, I don't drink. Scary - But enlightening! I never knew this before but apparently there is a part of the human eye called the 'zonule of Zinn' which sounds like something straight out of a Dr Seuss book. Which, come to think of it, is even more scary than the prospect of imminent blindness.

Well, I'll still have my ears. But not if I keep listening to crap like this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

After two weeks of hard graft, poncing about, and assuming a bewildering variety of bad German accents in Kinlochleven High School's theatre space - which is just through the blue door on the left in the second picture in this semi-pointless slide-show - the show is finally coming together.
With two working days left before the first show I now know nearly most of my lines - or at least I know how my huge long speeches start and end (the bits in between can take care of themselves) and we all seem to have most of the "Omigod! I've got to come on here next, but the costume I need to be wearing when I do is all the way over there" type logistical problems sorted out - so that leaves tomorrow to put in the acting.

We'll get there.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Today's displacement behaviour is here but, just to whet your appetite, here's a sneak preview:
The fish sing all in chorus
The Prawns! (The prawns!)
I shout olé, (olé), olé

Friday, November 07, 2008

This is avoidance behaviour and a wee explanation of the lack of Blogging around here for a while.

I should be, at this very moment, pacing the living room floor waving my arms about, and ranting in a outrageous 'German' accent, or smarming about with an oleaginous grin. I am (or should be) trying to learn my lines for the play I'm doing the week after next. I'm getting paid to do this. For the next three weeks I'm a jobbing actor again with a real job! and, for once, I haven't been given screeds of dialogue; I have instead been given screeds of monologue. I'm not sure which is worse. At least I'll only have myself to blame if things go wrong this time. In this show I'm a really oily game show host, a madly OTT German scientist type (think Dr Stranglove), the Village Drunk, a singing Cockney Geezer, a Folky singer and - I'm sure there's another one - oh yeah, Teenage Rugger Bugger drinking boy.

And 'Dad'.

Must learn Lines.

Must learn characters.

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
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in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from http://jonnybillericay.blogspot.com/)

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