I'm in the middle of a charming comfort-food film called Tomorrow We Move. It's an understated French comedy that reminds me a bit of Rohmer spliced with good old Hollywood feel-good comedies. Last night, though, I celebrated Independence day with a viewing of an old fave, Naked Lunch. I watched it around the Fourth a couple years back and was shaken by a Burroughs-penned line about America; "America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting." I've decided to make the Naked Lunch movie an Independence-day tradition.
* * *
There's a scene in Fuddy Meers in which I, as my character, suddenly say some really nasty and scary things to another character, then calm down... but the calming down is just as scary as the angry outburst. I was having trouble launching into the spiel; I stood there trying to get this locomotive force charging up out of nowhere. Yesterday (yes, we rehearsed on Independence Day) I tried something new; I found a reason to turn and step away from my scene partner. Then I began my spiel while I spun back and strode up to her. The physical action made the difference; it really spurred the performance. The physical charge helped me work up a hollerin' charge too. It's a very simple trick, but I would have been too dopey to think of it a few years ago. It's only recently I've begun to think about the physical possibilities of acting; I've always thought of acting as a mouth-and-face thing, probably because I was pandering to my strengths.