Saturday, March 22, 2008

The 10th cast member: my ego

I have to keep in mind there are eight other people on stage with me. Every time there is the slightest giggle or titter from the audience I assume it's about me. There may be a fistfight going on a spotlit platform 20 feet away, but I always think that it's me there, in the dark, doing the funny little thing with my right upstage eyebrow that has the audience all atwitter.

Not to say I'm a ham. (Though I am.) But I do a pretty good job resisting going for the easy bit, and always keep in mind that whatever I do has to forward the narrative, otherwise it's not worth doing. But I do try to infuse every line, every gesture with something -- something unique or surprising. It's a fun way to work, and it keeps you on your toes, creatively. 

I just have to be sure I'm not disengaging from the other characters or the story. Early in the rehearsal process when I asked an ensemble member if I was going too far, she basically said there's no such thing as too many bits with this group. 

Anyway, good preview last night. An audience of actual outsiders who hadn't seen the show 3-10 times. Not as raucous as the insiders, but definitely with us all the way. We'll see what tonight has in store ...

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