Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Two Shows, No Shows

Believe me, I am working on a title for the one man show, so I won't always have to refer to it as such. I have some ideas but I just want a little more time to think them over before I start using one in public. (I want to make sure none of them are currently in use already, too.)

By whatever title it shall be known, the show is going well. I have begun committing the Shakespearean passages to memory. I have a long way to go, of course, having only started earlier this month. But I'm off book or near to it for about four speeches, all from Richard II. I've opted to memorize the Shakespeare first, and then work on committing my own words to memory later, though there's a decent chance my own words will be more of a guide than a precise script for a while. I imagine as I begin to rehearse it regularly the best selection of words will emerge, but until then, I'll keep an outline in mind and let the words of the base character come to me.

But like I said, that's in the future for now. I plan to memorize all of the Shakespeare in the first section, then add my own words, and rehearse just the first section for a while, before moving on to the next section's Shakespeare followed by my own words and so forth.

My own words as written are decent, I dare say, after about three drafts. But the more familiar i get with the Shakespeare speeches, the more meaning and nuance I find within same. (Which is, of course, what often happens to a lot of people when studying Shakespeare's works.) I consider this a positive development, one that will enhance the overall experience of my show, for both myself and the audience.

The purpose of the piece, as I have said, is to humanize the kings of the history plays. Naturally each of them has their own human moments within their respective plays. That, I dare say, was one of Shakespeare's purposes, so I am not revolutionizing anything here. But my goal is to sort of gather (almost) all of them together in one place, and present their humanity as a unified concept to my audiences. Furthermore, my aim is to do so without giving the appearance of a lecture. That is why humanizing each king is so important; if they remain merely literary devices or monoliths from which I cull things to recite in a room, I might as well not have a one man show at all.

My other major theater-writing project continues as well. I mean to begin writing the actual script sometimes next month. For that I must consider the typical traits of good theatre: dialogue, character, dynamic, pacing, etc. I know right off, at least for now, that it will not fir into the precise theatrical structure insisted upon by so many critics and professors of the theatre. But as with my one man show, I feel strongly that if interesting characters say memorable things within the course of a play, one is already 80% successful as a playwright. i intend to make my characters, by way of their lines, missed by audiences at the end of the production. I can't wait to get started on that.

As for acting, I am sadly still within one of the biggest droughts of my life. Having not been in a play as an actor in over 18 months, I begin to feel part of my artistic side atrophying. Doubt and worry as to my readiness for my next role, whenever that may be, creeps in from time to time. Despite my increasingly busy writing schedule I may be forced to look outside of my usual venues and start auditioning for less desirable roles just to keep my head in the game, as it were. I have no idea who is producing what lately, but I am now looking around. I haven't looked outside the usual venues in years.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Short Story Collection: Thank You For Ten

Greetings, loyal blog readers. It's not often I have a chance to cross post between my regular website, and this acting blog. But today was the perfect chance.

Last year I wrote a series of ten short stories, all set in a theatre. The same theatre. Later this year I plan to self-publish this collection, and make it available to you, and of course to anyone else. I think anyone who knows and loves theatre, or who just knows and loves the artistic path can enjoy something from these ten stories at which I worked so hard over last year.

Learn more about the project over on my main website. I hope that when the time comes, you'll give these stories a shot.

Thanks everyone. And ore updates on my one-man show are coming soon as well!