Monday, March 14, 2011

Freaking Out Monday

I have ALMOST got myself completely off book for The Copperhead.

Which is good, because our off book deadline is Thursday. Of course, what I'm NOT off book for is the hardest section. The last act. Act four.

The monologue act, as I call it.

I hate monologues. I love dialogue. I love working a scene and looking into the eyes of another actor, playing together, finding emotional ebbs and flows, and creating a history and relationship out of thin air. That teamwork, the camaraderie, the synergy that can erupt into being, is intoxicating. Dialog is fun.

Monologues are anything but. At least for me. I mean, sure, there's been a few times when I felt really comfortable performing one. Dashiell Hamlet comes to mind, but that's an example where the style of the piece, the whole nature of it, makes it fun.

And makes it concise.

I am really not fond of most monologues, the waxing poetic for page after page. The kind of recursive writing that is almost demanded by it. Think about it, most monologues you see tend to work as follows:

Establish idea. Chew over idea. Chew over idea. Chew over idea. Chew over idea. Chew over idea. Self-reflective character-building comment. Establish new idea. Chew over idea. Chew over idea. Chew over idea. Refer in offhanded way to character on stage with you. Establish new idea...

Rinse. Repeat.

There's a part of me, in every case, and this may be because I tend to play, well...less than talkative characters, that maybe we could just make the point an move on.

But that's all bullshit. Really, when you get right down to it, there's two reasons I don't like monologues. One's just practical, and the other's a bit more...psychological.

1- They're hard.

Seriously, memorizing a damn monologue is the hardest thing for me. It makes me crazy, and it's the places where I slide the furthest into paraphrasing. I just hate not having anything to hang on to, or anyone to play off of. It freaks me out.

2- I hate being the center of attention.

Yeah, believe it or not.

I hate that I know everyone's looking right at me. I hate that I'm, for that few minutes, anyway, driving the play all by myself. It's where I have my greatest lack of confidence, and feel of inadequacy. So, of course, with The Copperhead, the climax is, for the most part, all me, all the time!


I may start drinking, seriously, again.

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