Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

21 April 2004

Acting

I am rebelling against work, and since Steve left for The Netherlands today and Nancy left work at 2:00p, I decided to finish the play I started at lunch.  It was Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band.  I am not sure that I am completely sold on the play, but this play made me want to act again.


I gave up on acting what feels like ages ago, and in truth it was right after Tartuffe.  After that I started working as crew.  Since that time I have done three separate Shakespeare shows, and I did each for a very specific reason.  By the time I went to the Voice Intensive in 2002, I had stopped considering being a better actor a goal of mine.  The VI convinced me again that it was something that I wanted to do, and so when I came back I did Othello.  Since then I played Rosencrantz in Hamlet... something I always wanted to do.  And since then Tybalt in R&J, and that was strictly because I felt like speaking again.  It isn't that I don't think I can hack it or anything as maudlin as all of that, but I stopped considering myself an actor because I found that I never wanted to play any of the characters I was given... by this I don't mean that I didn't like the roles I got, but that I feel like these characters are nothing like me and that's boring.  They aren't saying anything I want to say.  They aren't dealing with anything that I deal with.  I generally play pushovers or cowards, and I am occasionally a pushover and a coward, but not for the reasons these Shakespearean clowns are.  I never felt like they were current.  This bored me.


I realize that this is because no one I was working for was doing work about me.  No one was directing plays that had a character with whom I could really identify.  (I do identify with Iago, but that's a whole other issue.)  To remedy this I started directing work that was about me: plays that were chock-full of characters with whom I could identify.  But what I ended up doing was giving other people the opportunities I so longed for.  Not that this is a bad thing... in actual fact it was a very good thing.  I found where my talent lies and where my passion truly lies.  I am too much of a micro-manager to not be a director... and I am a good director.


But sometimes... I think I want to be an actor again, if just to play a character like Michael in The Boys in the Band.  I would love to play gay characters with flaws and loves and demons.  But playing straight characters from plays that are 400 years old is just not challenging.  I mean why bother putting myself on the line as an actor to say something like "You climbed over the house to unlock the little gate"?


I think maybe that this is a depressing entry.  I apologize.