Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You Kick Your Heroine Habit By Entering "Jig Therapy"

Here's another story to hold you over as I try to scramble to finish my script for my play. I was just reminded of it today. It happened back when I was in my first year at Prov when I was a simple newbie to the drama program. I was hungry for parts and acting and free cookies from the cafeteria. The college life of Prov was so engaging. I even created my own work of drink perfection in what I call "Chocolate Beer" in which I combined root beer with chocolate milk to concoct what I thought what was the equivalent of money in cup and later money in the digestive tract. Anyway, that has nothing to what I want to talk about which is of course, my first acting part on stage at Prov. Actually, I don't want to talk about that. Essentially, I did what actors do which must be common knowledge. You read the script, you read it again, you memorize the script, you memorize it again, you eat the script, you spit it back up, you tape it back together, you practice it, you block it, you "get into character", you do acting exercises like becoming a walnut, you listen to the ocean sounds of the prairie, you fast, you make a robot, you read the script once more, you take a quick cat nap, you pick out your costume, you burn down your neighbour's asherah pole, you read a Shakespeare play, you then read a play that makes sense, you read your script, you threaten to quit for a week, you make a crazy demand like wanting a trip to the moon, you do a jig, you call your director a jerk, you do another jig, you memorize the script one more time, you practice it with the other actors, you pick up a trendy heroine habit, you do another jig, you kick your heroine habit by entering "jig therapy", you get on stage and perform. That's all that acting is.

What I want to talk about is actually during the performance of the play. I was on the stage as Kenicki of Grease fame and I was about to destroy the phone booth from Bill and Ted's excellent adventure (I am not even vaguely making that up). It was a difficult role to do because I have never seen Grease or read it or listen to the music or performed a jig to it. However, I did better in that role than I did the off stage portrayal of Dr. Grant from Jurassic Park and my role as Elvis (both of which were also in the same play I should add. It's a complicated story). Anyway, I was supposed to destroy the phone booth and attempted to use a baseball bat, but it was not yielding the results that I desired, so I kicked it over and attempted to frog splash it. This worked because it was not a real phone booth, but rather a refrigerator box. It collapsed underneath my weight and flattened. Little did I think that the box when flattened would emit enough force to be able to kick out the frame that held up a black curtain. The frame and curtain then fell forward on top of me, whacking me on the back of the noggin and covering me like in a cartoon. People were taken aback and through their laughter I realized their concern for my well being. I then wrestled my way out from underneath the curtain and ad libbed "Take that!" It pretty much immortalized the play. That's true acting ability. Being able to make clumsiness look like you are "acting".

So what can you learn from this. Absolutely nothing. If you think there is some grand lesson to be learned in this event. You are looking too hard. Although, there is the acting lesson of knowing how much time to spend jigging and the answer is there is never too much time spent jigging.


Luke said...

Dave, I'm going through withdrawl.

Anonymous said...

totally unrelated...so whatever happened to that crush you were suposed to see on that weekend(360yahoo! page) just curious