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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

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Past, Present and Future

I've been thinking about manga a lot lately. It became an important part of my life in my last year of college, and remained important to me for years. Rumiko Takahashi's romantic comedy Maison Ikkoku and zany comedy Ranma 1/2 were must-reads for me; I felt like I could see truths about my life projected onto the white spaces between her clean lines. For my nonproductive post-college years manga were my main source of escapism. Quiet enough to not wake my parents, portable enough to sneak into any location. Nowadays I only want such entertainment comfort food on an occasional basis; I don't need it to compensate for a lack of real life. Yet manga and anime imagery plugs into my Nerd Mind the way Klingons or Light Sabers do for other nerds. I'll see an image of Any Old Manga Character and get excited on some primal level, but when I start reading the stuff I get bored fast.

The loss of novelty value is part of it. Manga was once scarce, a niche market, and if you liked the stuff you pretty much bought what was offered. Why else would I have three digests of Fist Of The North Star, which is basically postapocalyptic Wrestlemania?

* * *

This production of Fuddy Meers is coming together; we just got off-book for Act 1, and the Off-Book day is always a troubling one. It feels like suddenly the production is awful. To make matters worse, two of our key tech people saw us work with it for the first time last night, and what they saw was people not knowing their lines, bollixing the rhythms of the scenes. Someone, possibly me, told three fellow actors to bite his behind because they knew their lines better than he did. But getting the script out of my hand is like getting the needle out of a junkie's arm. It's painful, but it's for the best. As soon as we have line mastery we can really start to have fun with the readings. I'm going to try bringing a little Elliott Gould to my performance tonight; my character goes from nice guy to heavy and back again, and I don't think I'm making the nice parts light enough. I'm anticipating the heavy passages, and it's weighing down the nice guy passages. Gould circa The Long Goodbye may be the poultice I need.

Does that make a lick of sense? Pay no attention to anything actors say about their process.

* * *

I dunno what I'll audition for after this. BFT will be doing Moonlight and Magnolias, about the making of Gone With The Wind. I love the premise, but I've never read the script. I've gotten some nonspecific enthusiasm from various impresarios around town. I need to do theatre, but what theatre needs me?


FLT3 said...

There's also THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE coming up in October...;-)

Aaron White said...

I dunno the show, but doesn't it involve singing and dancing? I think I'm getting too fat for dancing. I just bought a whole freakin' loaf of banana-nut bread from V. Richards. Somebody stop me.

Also, the girl playing Millie is too mean and temprimental a diva for me to work with her again. And a mouth like a toilet. The words that girl uses!

Oops, sorry, I was living in my dream world again.