Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I'm a Miracle Worker!
... or, a little more accurately and a lot more humbly, I've gotten a role in the classic play The Miracle Worker! As Helen Keller's mother. It's not the lead, to be sure, but the lead needs someone who looks like she's twenty, and they found someone MUCH closer to that age to play Annie Sullivan. But Kate, Helen's mom, is a complex character and on stage a great deal of the time, and I'm delighted at the opportunity.
I don't mind not being the lead as long as I'm not spending most of the night backstage, twiddling my thumbs and waiting to go on. It's not a comfortable sort of waiting for me. If I relax too much, I risk not getting on stage on time or falling so far out of character that my acting suffers. If I keep my energies / nerves too revved up, I'm either hyper or exhausted when I finally do get on stage. Best to just be on stage, in character, all night long, as far as I'm concerned!
I also have signed up for a weekend-long acting workshop in mid-June, and am currently reading the text book, "The Power of an Actor" by Ivana Chubbuck. Good stuff. She has twelve steps (doesn't everybody?) that you apply as you prepare for a role, and while I'm waiting to learn what scene I'll be applying them to for the purposes of the workshop (I know it will be from "The Secret of My Success" but I haven't gotten the script yet), I've been trying to analyze the MW role. It's a whole new way to approach acting for me; up till now it's been pretty much acting by instinct ... and that only gets you so far. I feel like I'm stretching my acting muscles and so far it feels pretty good!
Anyway, the show goes up late July, rehearsals don't start till about 5 weeks beforehand. And more good news, friend Betsy has accepted a small role in the play, so we can commute to rehearsals together! Betsy is famous for being a scene-saver. If someone "goes up on" (forgets) their lines, Betsy is so quick-witted that she'll figure out a way to help them get back on track. An extremely valuable person to have around! We acted together in my first acting experience two years ago ... look for pictures of Nurse Ilsa here.