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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Breaking Character

I haven't written in a while, I know. The main reason for this, of course, being that nothing particuarly interesting has happened to me lately. I went to a fitting today for Anne Frank & Me, I slept over at my friend Natasha's house Sunday night, my other friend lost her job because her boss is a jerk so we took her out to lunch, my sister got another bird, and I finally saw Gone With The Wind.

Really, that's about it.

It's more than had previously happened to me, which was absolutely nothing, but it's still not really Blog entry worthy. I had thought of something I was going to write about the other day when I was out for the "boss is a jerk" lunch, and told myself to turn into a blog entry...but I can't remember what it was. Clearly, it was a lost opportunity to write some sort of literary brilliance that would be remembered for generations to come. Either that, or it was about Scarlett O' Hara. The world may never know.

There are, however, far, FAR worse things that could be happening to me than just being bored. Trust me, I know. Yesterday we did the scenes in the cattle car on the way to Auschwitz, and the scenes in the gas chambers, it was probably the most frightening thing I've done so far. It was fun, and it was challenging, but it was scary as hell.

Can you imagine being shoved into a crowded, hot, cattle cart, packed in with tons of people who you don't really like and have no desire to talk to, on the the way to God only knows where, while being guarded by loud, angry soldiers with guns? At that point, you're not even sure if you're going to live past the next day. They tell you you're going to a work camp, that you're just going to be doing some free labor, and you want to beleive it, you desperately want to beleive that's all that's going to happen to you, but you still can't shake those rumors from the back of your mind, those rumors that they take you into a large room at the camp, separated by gender, told to strip, told it's only a shower, and then the gas is turned on. No matter how sure you are of where you're going, no matter how comfortable, or how optimistic you are in the situation, that thought that you could be instantly killed at any moment never leaves your mind.

Now, imagine that, imagine all of that happening, and imagine being completely alone. My character spends most of the play alone, she's not well liked because she's so abnoxious, she doesn't really like anyone else, and by the time we're in the 1940's she's also starting to beleive she's better than the Jewish people, just because she's not Jewish. Needless to say, this doesn't grant her many friends. She talks about having a family, so we know she's got someone, but by the end of the play, during the cattle car scenes, and the gas chamber scenes, Christina (my character) appears to have...no one.

Most of the characters have a friend or a family member to huddle with, or cower with, but my character doesn't have anyone. She's completely alone, surrounded by people she doesn't like and doesn't understand, on her way to what I think she is assuming to be her death. Can you imagine that? It's terrifying. Or at least, it must have been. I'm only playing a part, I'm only showing my take on what happened, past events made slightly less brutal for stage, It's not like I'm actually there, no matter how much it may have felt like it.

Although, isn't that what acting is? Trying to imagine you're there, and to convey that image to the audience? The more you feel it, the more real it looks. Which is a good thing to a certain extent, makes it more entertaining and beleivable to the audience. However, there's always that fear of getting too wrapped up in a role, wondering if one day when the director says cut and you have to break character, you won't be able to. It's not a big thing, I've never met a single person in my life who's had trouble going back to being themselves, I've never had an issue with it. But then, who really knows?

So that's my life, mixed in with a bit of Chrissy/Christina's life. Intense stuff, huh? I think I'm going to go read some stupid teen-girl book that someone gave me, something completely mindless and happy to offset...well, you know. That.

Have a good night,


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Strawberry Rain

Sounds like a bad love song, doesn't it? I promise this entry won't have anything to do with cheesy love songs, I just needed to combine the two most interesting things happening to me right now, or at least, the two most significant.

First off, it's raining. I love rain, it's my favorite kind of weather. Just thought I'd point that out.

Second, and probably more crutial, is me. I am now, officially, as of yesterday afternoon, a strawberry blond. I wasn't always that way, trust me. Before yesterday my hair was about as generic brown as you can get, and had been since I was born. I had always been sort of happy with my hair color, I never really gave it a second thought. I never envied other hair colors, never wished it was different, never even thought about dying it. And then came the play.

I am currently in the P.O.V. (that's point of view) Stage Company's production of Anne Frank & Me in Haverhill, Massachusetts. I have a small part, not too many lines, I'm only in the begining of the play, but it's a part and I like it. I'm playing a character who starts off the play named Chrissy, and is a popular, annoying, racist, Holocaust denier who is incapable of forming her own opinions (and I think is somewhat jealous of the main character's ability to dance). She's basically an all around terrible person to be around, and is about the only type of person I would not be able to stand. Narrow-mindedness drives me insane, people who insist on trying to prove a point that's a.) wrong, and b.) isn't their own opinion, such as for example "The Holocaust never happened" or "every person in X-religion is a terrorist" both of which they heard from their father's racist friend at work who must be correct because he's "pre-med" or something...GAH! They're about the only kind of people I really, literally, loath. Just be open-minded about the world, and I'll like you fine, whoever you might be. Effectively, I am playing the very kind of person I despise.

Which to be perfectly honest, I'm ok with. Anyway, that's beside the point.

So after I play "Chrissy the racist Holocaust denier" the main character gets hit by a car, and so of course gets transported back in time to France, in the Holocaust, as a Jewish girl. The people she knows from modern times take on somewhat different roles, such as her principal becoming her father (sketchy) and her English teacher becoming her mother (very sketchy). As her worst enemy type person in modern times, in the 1940's I'm one of her friends, Christina. Who, though not being as stupid and ignorant as her modern day counterpart, still follows the Nazi's rules and gets nervous and scared when Jews have radios. There are echos of her previous self in Christina, but all and all, she is a completely different person.

What all of this of course means is, I need to be blond. My character is specifically not Jewish, however, with my curly brown hair and various other facial features, I apparently look more Jewish than the girl playing the specifically Jewish character. Oops. The solution; dye my hair blond so that not only do I look more like a ditzy popular girl (and less like an internet/sci-fi geek) but I also look specifically (stereotypically) non-Jewish. Now all I need is blue eyes, too bad mine aren't at the moment.

The color of my hair is scientifically (in the world of hair sylists) called "Strawberry blond". I like it, it's different. It's not quite bleach blond, it's not like Paris Hilton or Rose on Doctor Who, it more of a gold color. It's darker than you would expect. It's the first time I've ever done something this drastic for a play, thought I've sort of secretly always wanted to. On every audition form they ask you if you would be willing to change your appearance for the show in anyway, and I always check yes, but they've never asked me to. It's been a bit disapointed, I always thought it would kind of fun to have to change my appearance for a play. Now I finally get to.

It's different, I'll say that now. Everytime I walk past a mirror or a window, or anything with a reflection and catch a glimpse of myself, I do a double take. So far, being blond hasn't been any more or less fun than being a brunette, and I'm finding I'm no more stupid than I used to be. I'm not entirely sure where this stereotype originated from, or what caused it, but I have a feeling I'll be doing some research on that tonight. After I study Holocaust denial.

It's like playing a part, walking a mile in someone's shoes. Evertime you play a part you discover what it's like to be another person and that's what I find continually facinating about acting, getting a chance to see the world from a different perspective. Sometimes the perspective is more inteligent, like Alma Threedle, sometimes it's slightly narrow like, Chrissy and sometimes, you're not even looking at the same world, Seussical. You would think that seeing the world as a blond wouldn't be much different than seeing the world as a brunette. You're wrong. Any change you make for yourself is the change to look at the world a bit differently, no matter how small the change is. It's what makes life interesting. Like rain.

Have you ever noticed that if anything exciting happens, anything tragic or dramatic, or just different happens during a rainstorm. Anything can happen in the rain, any emotion, any feeling, any drama, it can all happen in the rain. On a sunny, it's just non-stop happy, and who wants that? Live life differently, walk in the rain, dye your hair, look at it all from a new perspective.

You can hear the rain pouring on the roof...love it.

Newly blond,