Saturday, January 26, 2008

All Over the Place, But for Skin

From a film (do you know it?), "I feel as if my skin is the only thing keeping me from going everywhere all at once." Yeah, that's what skin does....

The hunt began. I had to find my headshots, which I did, I just needed to get an 8x10 printed. I had to find a song, I had a few in mind, but needed to confirm the length, as I was given not more than sixteen bars to sing in. I worked out a short dialogue between me and a puppet if I should get asked to do one. I had to find a monologue...oooooo...that's the trouble spot.

Monologues are crazy things. One short speech is somehow supposed to sum up completely what an actor can do when there is no director to direct her. This seems impossible, and it really is, yet everyone requires one. I had a few in mind that I had used previously. But I couldn't find a single monologue book or copy of the play that contained one of those ideas.

Monty and I got together last night for a movie. We missed One Missed Call (rats) and I'm not confident that I can stomach watching Cloverfield (you should have seen me sitting through the Blair Witch Project...ugh....), so we settled on National Treasure 2. It's not really our preferred genre, and I had already seen it, but it was a fine way to pass the time.

Before Monty showed up, I spent a few hours in the bookstore, combing through endless monologues with the complete plays for the ones I liked no where in sight. (I think, and many directors and teachers will agree, that it is unwise to present a monologue if you haven't read the entire play. How do you know where your chosen character is coming from if you don't read what happened before your speech?) I bought a monologue book that offered a bit of information about auditions, I admit it's been a long time since I've had one, and a little bit further information for the monologues the author included. Still leaning towards a monologue I could prepare from Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, I went to bed last night essentially monologue-less. I don't remember that scene well enough to construct my speech from memory.

This morning and the rest of the day was busy. One of my Christmas presents from my mother was a yoga class at a somewhat local garden center (it's not as crazy as it sounds). The first of three was today. In the morning, we planned to get my headshot printed, pick up a copy of A Lie of the Mind at a bookstore because mine has gone AWOL, check out some sheet music while there, stop by Trader Joe's, and then hit up our yoga class.

As expected, the printing of the headshot took the longest, an hour and a half or so. While we were waiting, we hit the book store. I found an intriguing play adaptation of His Dark Materials, and many things by Sam Shepard. Just not the play I needed. I also verified one verse of my chosen song is exactly the maximum sixteen bars. There was another book store we could try, either before or after the class. Fast forward to the class, because picking up the picture from the camera center and shopping at TJ's happened without a problem.

Our teacher was really awesome. We had a nice little enclosed area that was lined with trees for sale. Very peaceful. Unfortunately, after an hour of working (in a nearly two hour class), it got amazingly cold in the greenhouse space we were using. Afterwards, we learned that they "forgot" to turn on the heat. Yikes! Next week, they assured us they would remember. And if they don't, one of us will go and find someone!

We went to the other bookstore after that and, you can probably guess, my play wasn't there either. By now, I was very frustrated, so convinced was I that this was the right monologue, I just couldn't find anything that had it. And my copy from college was just not turning up (though, I did find my copy of Mozart's Requiem from my first year. You'd think a play from my last should be easy to locate). I resolved to just using something from the new monologue book, and do the best I can. Ah, I found one from a play that I had seen mentioned in the plethora of other monologue books I'd looked at over the past two days. As I read over the scene, the monologue, and the author's little bits about it, I thought of one of the play books I could find. An anthology that was used as course text for one of my classes which I did manage to locate in my search for Shepard's play. What if this play is in there? You know what's coming, don't you, fair readers? Lo! and behold! It was in there! Yahoo! I found a monologue that looks decent, and I have a copy of the play so I can really know my speech.

This piece will challenge me, but I think it will work out even better than the original one I was planning to do. The short play had me crying at the end of it. I think that makes it a perfect choice. Sure, I've got a lot to do between now and Tuesday (fine tune the monologue, and work out the bit with my puppet), but confidence is right here.

I do feel like I'd be all over the place if it wasn't for my skin holding me together. All of that happened in twenty-four hours!

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