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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Reindeer Monologues

Birmingham Festival Theatre is doing Reindeer Monologues again this year, and I'm trying to relearn my monologue. I'm finding that it's familiar enough to take for granted, but not familiar enough that I actually know the thing. It's going to be fun to do it again, but relearning it may be a bit of a chore. Some of my fellow returning reindeer are reconcieving their roles, and while I'm not planning any sweeping changes I am trying to fine tune a few things. On the other hand I somewhat agree with David Mamet that actor-y acting, lots of technique, is mostly wasted effort. I worry that honing the perfect line readings will only distract me from maintaining clear energy and focus. a sequence of polished line readings could, perhaps, result in a credible performance, but mightn't it end up pasteurized and homogenized? That's no good.

In this show Comet is a spin doctor, and I based a lot of my rhetorical choices on preachers. Only after the show closed did I realize that Chuck Swindoll had been my main model, since he's the only fiery preacher I ever heard growing up. I suspect he must be less sociopolitically conservative than many preachers with that fiery Billy Sunday style, since my Mom listened to him regularly. One interesting detail: whenever I delivered Comet's spin-filled defense of the play's wayward Santa it was impossible (for me, anyway) to not think of Karl Rove et al. Will the monologue play a bit differently now that Rove and company have had to eat an all too thin sliver of humble pie?

Speaking of oversized political figures, I have a notion of what my next performance after Reindeer Monologues may be, but it's only a tenuous offer so I shouldn't say much more. But it would involve playing a satirical version of a real-life politico.

Is anything else going on? I got a car, but it's bad luck to even acknowledge the existence of these terrible things; any little jinx will cause them to break down. Oh, but speaking of car trouble, did you hear that Bruce Tinsley, the guy who does the abysmal comic strip Mallard Fillmore, got busted for drunk-ass driving? Second offense on four months? And he accused the cops of hassling him out of some kind of grudge? Source... Way to duck (No pun intended) that personal responsibility to which you guys give so much lip service, Little Tinsley Jesus!

Truth be told, I'm not getting my schadenfreude on because of his position on the sociopolitical spectrum, but because, as comics critic R. Fiore put it in
The Comics Journal, Tinsley should be arrested for impersonating a cartoonist. You can be as far right as you want if you're funny or insightful. You'll never hear me dis P. J. O'Rourke, who's a rock-ribbed conservative, but is also brilliantly funny. And if O'Rourke were busted for drunk driving, he'd own up to it. Heck, it would fit his Republican Party Reptile persona. Considering how many conservative figures have fallen to the hypocrisy problem in recent months, I'd suggest more of them drop the spray-on "Values" and become RPRs like O'Rourke. Hey, if the values are really your values, great, but if not, find some other way to pander to the base.

Edit: Obviously Tinsley needs to do the decent thing and say "I've got a problem. I'm seeking help." I hope he gets it. I suspect there's a connection between the quivering nastiness of his comics and his alcohol problem. By "nastiness" I emphatically do not mean "conservatism."

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