Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stretching my acting muscles

How do I manage to fall of the face of the earth so often? Oh yea, I'm just way too busy. I literally barely eat or sleep, does everyone else in the world function this way too? I often wonder that. And with all that I have going on, I get myself cast in a play on top of it. Nate thinks I'm crazy, but it's difficult to explain. Yes, being involved in theatre is a huge commitment, and literally consumes your every waking moment, but when you love it, you don't mind. It's something at the end of your day to look forward to. Being with people who make you feel good about yourself and doing something you love, everyone should try it.

Well, as mentioned, yes I am going to be performing in Community Little Theatre's production of "To Kill a Mockingbird". If you know me, this might come as a bit of a shock. For those who don't, let's explain: I am your stereotypical musical chorus girl. I like to sing, and dance and smile and just twirl around. I like comedy. Exhibit A: my sister and I at summer camp. I'm portraying Joan Rivers, and she Melissa Rivers. It wasn't the role I thought I wanted, but I'm hilarious and just can't help it. :)

Exhibit B: some of the cast of CLT's performance of "The Scarlett Pimpernel" We were playing tarts, which is the nicer word to use. I'm on the far right.

My long lost friends Crystal and Bridget with myself from the same show....

So, To Kill a Mockingbird? What?! Not a musical. Not a comedy. I am so out of my element. However, this has been an incredibly rewarding challenge. When Linda, the director, asked me if I'd be interested in auditioning for the part of Mayella, my reaction was something along the lines of "I'm sorry. Have you met me?" She joked that if cast she would see if she could work in Mayella's Dream Ballet in there. (an Oklahoma! joke) But I thought, hey, if she thinks I could do it, I'll give it a try-and got the part!

If you're unaware, To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of Scout Finch, a little girl living in the south during the drepession. She lives with her brother Jem and their lawyer father Atticus.

Atticus has been chosen to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a young white woman. Mayella. Yea, sounds like fun, eh? She's a terribly tormented and complex character. In the end you realize she is really both a victim and the villain. You hate her, but feel pity for her at the same time. I keep telling everyone I want to pull a Charlize Theron in "Monster"- both because people keep telling me "you're too pretty to play Mayella" (not wearing make-up to rehearsal shut them right up) but more importantly because the characters are similar in the victim/villain duality. They both do awful things, yet you feel bad for tragically sad.

Putting so much of myself into this role has been both exhausting and rewarding. I've learned one major difference between drama and comedy, for me anyways, is that when you're doing comedy, yes you get to get up on stage and be someone else, but you're not really putting yourself out there. With drama, however, is terribly intimate. You have to open yourself up in new and uncomfortable ways. I feel naked, and exposed, emotionally anyways. I just hope it all pays off in the end. I hope lots of people will come out to support myself and my cast-mates and see first hand all the hard work we've been putting in.

Break a Leg,

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