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I am a blogger who specializes in using blogs to blog.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bored at Two A.M.

So I've barely been back from New York one day, and I'm already bored. Sigh, it doesn't take much does it? A few hours of sitting still and I'm ready to jump out the window. Not to die, of course, I'm restless not suicidal. Plus, I can't die till after May 12, I have no understudy.

What does one do, when they're so bored they're about to explode, and they can't go anywhere because it's one in the morning? What does a person do when they can't sleep to pass the time? As a person who regularly has trouble sleeping and is usually in a state of boredom while doing so, I can confidently say that I have no idea.

I could, I suppose, read a book or something to pass time, but then I've read every book on my bookshelf, and the library doesn't open for another eight hours. I could watch a movie, except that all the DVD's are downstairs and I don't want to wake anyone up. The whole midnight snack thing is out for the same reason, and the fact that it hasn't been midnight for an hour and a half.

It's times like these I think I should be writing the great American novel or something, like I should be doing something important with all this time. If I was musically talented, I could write a symphony or something, an opera, or even just a musical. If I was mathematically gifted or scientifically, I could discover a cure for something, or break some established law of physics, defy gravity or something. Anything, just to be doing something.

Maybe I should learn a language, I'm good at that, language, it's about the only scholastic skill I have. English and Spanish, my two best subjects. My Spanish teacher last year said I had a "high affinity for language" or something along that line. Of course, he then also added that though I could probably become multi-lingual if I wanted to, I'm a bit lazy, meaning I probably won't.

I have always wanted to learn Latin...

Anyway, educational pursuits aside, I still have nothing productive to do with my time. I can't learn lines, since I already know them (and I've practiced them so much I'm at the point where I want to shoot Alma Threedle) I can't go anywhere since it's too dark, and I can't leave my room since I don't want to wake anyone up. I'm trapped here, in my tiny little, four walled room for the next seven hours until someone wakes up or I fall asleep. God knows when that'll happen.

I spent today in my house. The day after I get back from New York, 24 hours in my house. Tomorrow I'll have to go somewhere, or I really will explode and my director will find a way to bring me back so she can kill me again for exploding before opening night. I'll have to go somewhere, even if it's just down the street, because I don't think I can take another day in this house.

God, I sound frustrated. I suppose that's what I am actually, frustrated. I'd never found the right word for it, till now. I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated with my life right now, just now. I have a feeling though, gut instinct maybe, that if I'm patient, if I can hold out just a little bit longer, if I wait long enough, It'll get better.

Oh God, it'll get better.

So I'll wait. From two in the morning to dawn, trapped in the four walls of my bedroom, frustrated to hell with my life at the moment, I'll wait. I'll wait for when it gets better, because I know it will. No matter how angsty and emotional I am now, everything will work out in the end.

That was my rant for today folks, have a good morning,


Thursday, April 26, 2007

On Broadway

You know, they say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. In fact, they say there's always magic in the air. But is there really? Is Broadway, the street, the theaters, the shows, the experience, is it really as incredibly as the songs and legends say it is? The answer is a resounding no.

Broadway itself is exactly what the name implies, a broad way. The street isn't paved with gold, it doesn't glitter brighter than the night sky on fire, and unlike 34th street, I don't believe any miracles have occurred there recently. It's not like going to Oz, it's like walking down any other street in New York. It's crowded, it's loud, it's bright, and it's full of life. It smells of cigarettes and roasted nuts. It's nothing special compared to the rest of Manhattan, not in the slightest.

However, who really wants to compare it to the rest of Manhattan?

Leaving the rest of the city aside, forgetting Times Square and Central Park, Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn and Queens in their entirety, Broadway is by far the best place in the world.

Of course, being an incredible theater geek, with often more enthusiasm for acting than for life itself, I may be just a bit biased in saying that. Spending two days in the New York City theater district can do strange things to a student actor, my two days was no different.

The atmosphere of a Broadway theater, just being there, is incredible in itself. I don't know what it is. Theaters of any kind thrill me, I could spend hours just standing in a theater, backstage, offstage, on stage, center stage, anywhere, and I'd be happy. Sitting in the seats of my school theater for an hour, just sitting, was the best school day I've ever had. I love theaters, but there's something about a real, honest to God, Broadway stage that's just...perfect.

If I had had it my way, I'd have been there all night. I was perfectly willing to stand outside the stage door to meet the actors of the show (we saw Wicked, BRILLIANT show, go see it) for hours. I was willing to stand in the seats looking around...for hours. Hell, I was willing to jump on stage and explore for hours. If only. The theater was absolutly fantastic, my complete ideal place to spend...god knows how long. Like I said, perfect.

And then there was the actual street. Broadway. Broadway. Broadway. Broadway. The name gets tossed around a lot, and has lost a lot of it's meaning. Standing in the center of Broadway, you're surrounded by theaters. Giant posters for thousands of different plays, musicals, and productions, all brightly lit high above the world. Behind you, a shady man in a large coat tries to sell you probably stolen tickets, while in front of you elegantly dressed people file into the theater for a night on the town.

It's a surreal experience, surrounded by the high class and the low class and the middle class and the theater. Drama can make you forget it all. In a theater, no matter who you are, if done correctly, an actor can make you weep. You may be the happiest person in the world, rich with legally bought, ridiculously overpriced tickets and I promise you, you will still cry with the actor. Same goes for if you're unhappy. You could be the most miserable, depressed person in exsistance, and you will still laugh hysterically in a theater. Broadway the district represents the ideal of the theater, that all the world's a stage. No matter who you are, you can walk down Broadway, and no matter who you are, you can laugh and cry and be moved.

So to sum up my point (god that sounds so "official") Broadway is not what you expect. It's not magic in itself, it's just pavement. At first glance it's no different then any other street in Manhattan, it's just...a street. The "magic" that most people think of when they think of it, comes from behind the surface. Stand in the center of the street, right in front of that weird Sci-Fi theme restaurant (Mars something, I think) near the Gershwin Theater, and watch the thousands of different kinds of people living their lives, arguing, laughing, segregating, combining, whatever. Then go into a theater, go see a show, and suddenly watch all these people laugh and cry at the same time. It's brilliant. That's the magic of theater, that's the magic of Broadway.

Broadway rhythm, everybody dance.

Goodnight everyone.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Alma's Silly Goose

"Benjamin, you silly goose! Haven't you recognized her yet? It's your own girlfriend Mayzie Magoo!"

That's it, that's the line. The whole line, in all it's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad splendor. This is the line that has been torturing me for a good...three days now, I think. Ever since Monday's blocking. It's such a simple phrase, but it just doesn't work. And so, I suppose the question is...

How do you deliver a line that's so horribly out of character, while still staying in character?

I play Sergeant Alma Threedle, the smart, no-nonsense assistant to Detective Inspector Benjamin Braddock. She's basically a sort of female Sherlock Holmes with a bit of CSI thrown in. When playing her, I typically say the lines with a nearly-but-not-quite British twinge to them, though there are some moments where she is distinctively American (when she gets a bit more angry). She's sneaky, she's observant, she's often quite smug, and she ends up solving the entire case by the end of the show. I have a lot of long explanation lines, medical babble speeches, interrogation scenes, and of course, a lot of getting annoyed with people (I call everyone a jackass at one point). She's an awsome character, and I'm having a great time playing her, but I honestly do not know what do.

Alma Threedle doesn't do silly gooses.

I'm serious here too. If you had the script, you'd agree with me. Saying "silly goose" is just not something she would say, and I don't know what to do. How do you correctly deliver a line in character, when the line itself is out of character? You have to sound real, while saying something very unreal. Honestly, it's quite surreal.

Anyway, I just cannot for the life of me figure out how to best deliver this. I think I have most of my other lines down (not entirely memorized yet, but I don't need to be off-book till Friday, I've got time) but this one...God. This one makes me cringe.

I could do it if the whole "silly goose" bit wasn't there. If it was just "Benjamin, haven't you recognized her yet? It's your own girlfriend! Mayzie Magoo!" I'd be fine. I don't want to ask to take it out, since that's really a stupid thing to take out of a play, two words. I have to be able to be adaptable as an actor, and adjusting one stupid line like that isn't going to help.

The line is so out of place in the script, it makes you wonder why the writer put it there. There is obviously a reason for it, you don't just write things at random as a writer, it just seems so weird. I suppose that's the key this, figuring out why the writer wrote it like that and then adapting your delivery to it. What I should probably be doing right now instead of complaining to my blog is looking over the script and picking it apart. Try to think like the writer was thinking. Why would Alma say silly goose? I haven't the faintest idea. Hopefully though, I'll be able to figure it out before May. Maybe.

But then, figuring things out isn't always my forte. I'm not a detective, I just play one.

Goodnight Silly Gooses,


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Earthlight and April Fools

I once said, probably in this very blog, that my entire life is dictated by two things; acting and Doctor Who. Yes, I'll admit, I did indeed wait an hour to "acquire" the Who premiere the other night, and I did spend all the rest of my time running lines, but that's not all I did, oh no. Of the many things I did this weekend one thing stood out as perhaps the most radical, strange, and wholly uncharacteristic than I have ever attempted before.

I went to a dance.

To most, this sounds perfectly normal. I'm fifteen years old, going on sixteen in about month here, I should be going to dances, it's what most people my age do. If anything, it's stranger to find a teenager that doesn't go to dances. That would be me.

Dances have never appealed to me. Back during the ultra-conformist days of middle school, where every person is a carbon copy of the next and you fear the guillotine if you even so much as think a individual thought, I admit, I went to most of them. I will also admit, that though I danced along with everyone else, and most people didn't even think twice that perhaps I wasn't having a good time, I hated it. Massive amounts of people squashed into a gymnasium with loud, bad club music thundering in the blaring flashing lights...I just didn't get it. I still don't, actually. That kind of event just has no appeal whatsoever to me. Except Friday night.

It's been said (by many people other than myself, beleive it or not) that I can live on nothing more than acting and Doctor Who. The stimulation of these two things combined provided enough to keep me together. Apparently, they don't.

Weekends are always interesting experiences for me. I used to do all sorts of things during them. Someone was always having sleepovers, going to the movies, going to the mall (not that I'm one of those shopaholic mall-trampers, trust me, I'm not) there was always someone I could hang out with, always groups of people for me interact with. Lately though, the past few weekends, I've been spending at home, alone, up in my room with nothing but a laptop and the occasional intteruption of my mother. Weekends have been endless evenings of Doctor Who-watching, forum reading, blog writing goodness to keep me going for a while. Then came Friday.

Friday I was alone. Again. Except this time, I was alone with my family. Now, I love my family dearly, and I do like it when we're all home at the same time. But after nearly two months of staying home on weekend evenings, and a harrowing trip home from pizza hut, I had had about enough. Not of my family, not of my laptop, but of being up in my room alone. Suddenly, the excitement of a new Doctor Who trailer, or of memorizing a long paragraph-long line just wasn't working. I needed to be somewhere else, and I needed to be with other people. I was craving social interaction, so much so that I ended up just walking out of my house and heading over to my friend Natasha's, who turned out to not be home anyway. Where was she? The dance.

Natasha's mom found me on the street, walking away from her home and my own home towards some as then undecided destination. I wasn't running away from home or anything, or trying to flea the world, on the contrary I was just looking for someone to talk to. It's a good thing she came along, or I might of struck up a conversation with a rapist or something. She ended up driving me to the dance, where she had just taken Natasha. It was an interesting experience, being driven to the last place on Earth I would ever expect myself to go willingly in the car of someone else's mother. But I went. I went to the dance.

Three things dictate my life, not two, but three. Everyone has things they can't live without, whether it's a hobby, a passion, a career, a person, or a TV show, everyone has something. It may sound sad to say that one of the three things on my list is Doctor Who, but then how many of you can honestly look at yourselves and not think there's some pop culture element you can't live without? My three things became clear over this weekend, acting, Doctor Who, and people. I cannot live without nearly constant social interaction. It became painfully obvious that if I ever tried to live my life by myself, I wouldn't survive. It's interesting to think, I suppose, that my life is so dependent on other people, that if I was locked away in a cell by myself with no mean of communication with any form of sentient life that I would probably die. Or go insane.

The dance was terrible, exactly the way I remembered it from middle school. It was dark, it was loud, it was hot, and best of all, it was crowded. All the angst and drama that make a school dance tedious was present, and believe it or not, I'm glad. The dance was exactly what I needed. At that point I needed nothing more than to be a huge crowd, talking as much and as fast as I could. The mere presence of other people, real, talkative, interesting people, was enough to bring me back that night, and I'm glad. Despite it all, I'm truly, really glad I went.

Over the weekend, I went home. I rehearsed to be an emcee in an empty hall, I memorized lines in my room, I managed to acquire the latest episode of Doctor Who, and I managed to watch a few trailers. I spent Saturday standing in halls, and I listened to the Doctor marvel at the Earthlight as he stood on the moon with Martha. It was April Fools Day today, my mom spread streamers all over my room, and I watched the Doctor laugh at the darkness. Despite it all, Earthlight and April Fools, my most profound moment was still spent standing in a gymnasium.

I wouldn't have missed it for the world.