Sunday, April 13, 2008

3rd rehearsal


It's been almost two weeks since I posted on the upcoming production of "The Beverly Hillbillies" being presented by Plant City Entertainment and it's progress but there's virtually nothing of interest to report. I apologize that this ongoing series isn't more entertaining but honestly, there isn't much going on. As far as I know (being as I only show up once a week or so and when I'm there, I don't talk to or interact with anyone) the cast is all getting along and nobody is being difficult. That may or may not be a bad sign. In my admittedly limited acting experience, a bubbling pot is not necessarily a bad thing. A little backstage drama can keep people on their toes and engaged. On the other hand, it can also be a huge distraction and an unnecessary pain in the ass. I'm sure most directors would say they could happily live without it so what do I know? Kinda sucks to be reading this though. Although, if my 'brother' Rob continues to exert influence over me, I might very well become that combustible ingredient that's currently lacking.
A little background...
I met Rob Gander* in Sarasota about 15 years ago or so when he directed "Bleacher Bums" in Sarasota at a little theatre known as Theatre Works. I read for a part and was cast. The story I like to tell is that I asked if I could come back for the second night read-throughs and he rolled his eyes, sighed heavily and replied "Well, I don't know why but I guess it's a semi-public building and the fire code prohibits chaining the doors shut. So sure". Actually, what he said was "sure" but the story gets a little more harsh every time I tell it. Through the experience of that show and others that followed at Theatre Works and an unhealthy shared devotion to unhealthy obsessions like self-loathing and the bizarre and so-godawful-that-it's-brilliant David Lynch sitcom "On The Air", Rob and I became good friends and although we're not actually related, I consider him the closest thing to a brother I have living on this planet. He now lives way out west in Cowboyland where he's a drama professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. We still talk on the phone from time to time, complaining about the state of films, television and the hassles of life itself. The other day I was regaling him with my latest misadventures, including this play nonsense I've gotten myself into and he had a brilliant (ie: terrible) idea. He said since there are only four scheduled performances and I'm only in one scene, a good way to make the experience memorable (ie: a nightmare) for all involved is to do it completely different each time. The key component of this genius (ie: idiotic) plan is not telling anyone beforehand, especially the other actors or the director. One night, do it with the Oklahoma drawl I've been practicing but develop an uncontrollable stutter. The next, do it with a thick Cockney accent, complete with rhyming slang ("'Ere then, me company is prepared to pay you a lot of bees and honey for your Bodie and Doyle, Mr. Clampett!"). This could be great fun (ie: entirely inappropriate)! Even better (ie: worse), how about re-writing the entire scene? Imagine Hannibal Lector**, chief counsel for the Midland Oil Company paying a visit to Jed and his kin: "You know what you look like to me, with your hunting dog and your shotgun? You look like a rube. A dirty, befuddled rube with no taste whatsoever. Poor nutrition's given you no length of bone, but you're not more than zero generations from poor white trash, are you, Mr. Clampett? And that accent: pure Tennessee. What was your father, dear? Was he a moonshiner? Did he stink of grain alcohol? You know how quickly the revenuers found you... all those tedious sticky fumblings in the woods behind your outhouse... while you could only dream of getting out... getting anywhere... getting all the way to Beverly Hills."
I won't do that of course. Ah, but a boy can dream, can't he?
*Ha ha! on the "Hotness" factor of a big fat zero!
** I do a fantastic Hannibal Lector. Book me for your next wedding reception, corporate gathering or child's birthday party!

1 comment:

citizen jane said...

"Great fun (ie: entirely inappropriate.) Sounds like a plan to me.

Doit doit doit doit...