Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Well, that blew

Just yesterday I was having a conversation with another actor about ear prompts. It's something I've long avoided. Partly I don't feel like spending several hundred dollars on it, but partly also it was a matter of pride. I feel like, "I'm an actor -- memorization is a pretty basic part of the business." Not to mention, "I'm a smart guy -- what I can't get verbatim I can paraphrase."

But today kind of sucked. I had four paragraphs of pretty technical, jargon-heavy copy. I spent an hour or so last night on it, plus two hours in the car on the ride up and I thought I had it down. But then sometimes everything changes when you're standing on your mark and that little red light goes on.

What really screws me up is when I glance at the script (or the cards, if they have them, which they didn't for this one). I could just be merrily paraphrasing from memory but then when I see the exact words I get completely jumbled up and lose it.

I don't really understand why, if there's going to be a TelePrompter at the actual gig, what the point is of having us memorize. It seems dumb. Then again, if I get the ear prompter, that won't even be an issue. And it could maybe get me other gigs where they can't afford a prompter.

Anyway, that was a waste of 4 hours and $40.

I know the car rental people must wonder what I'm up to when I put 170 miles on a car and bring it back in under 4 hours. Like I drove to Wisconsin, exchanged money for drugs and came right back.

Everyone else I know who's carless keeps their car for the full 24 hours when they rent. They run errands, go to the suburbs, buy a bunch of heavy stuff. But I just want to get that damned car back as soon as possible so I don't have to think about traffic and parking and tickets, etc. And I don't have room around here for 24-roll packs of Charmin or 10 gallon laundry detergents.

Feh!

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