collisionwork: (Great Director)
For the record.

The one and only review of the "Marys" program in the Baby Jesus One-Act Jubilee has been from Li Cornfeld at offoffionline.com. Some nice things are said about my production of Marshmallow World, namely:

A Christmas Carol is followed by Marc Spitz’s Marshmallow World, which brings a literal return to the craziness. Set in a support group, the play features a collection of colorful oddballs all suffering from “sonic” addiction. Victor (Brick Technical Director Ian Hill, who also directs, in addition to serving as marathon light designer and tech director) is among the group’s more senior members and seems strangely sweet given his criminal record, substance abuse, and obsession with NPR’s Terry Gross. Meanwhile, Angel (Alyssa Simon) yearns for a better sense of aesthetics as she tries to move beyond her love of bad music at intimate moments, while Ray (Aaron Baker) fears a particular infamous string of notes. All three deliver comedic performances that embrace their characters’ quirks while resisting the urge to play them as simply insane.

From the beginning, however, audience attention is drawn to Boris (Jason Liebman), who sits alone in a corner hiding in a black hoodie and looking as though he wants to disappear. Fortunately, he instead reveals why he has come: he’s a religious Jew obsessed with Christmas music. As Boris, Liebman is at once deeply distraught and charmingly amusing. Elsewhere in the program, Liebman is engaging as anachronistic Biblical thugs, and it’s fun to see him succeed here at something different.



Pleasant enough. Yup, I'm "strangely sweet." That does seem to be something I can pull out easily onstage.

I kinda specialize in playing Brutes, Intellectuals, or Fops, or any combination thereof (wanna see a brutish fop? I've done it a couple of times; good at it). And I can throw "strangely sweet" on top of any of them.

I actually - to my own surprise as well as others' - turned out to be really good at light romantic comic leads the couple of times I was cast that way, but I'm gettin' long-in-the-tooth for that, and I was never the right physical type anyway.

The big thing I can't do well at all, at least as far as I'm concerned: dumb people. Big limitation as an actor, but one I got. Can't do dumb people well. A friend of mine who got cast as dumb people frequently (and I never believed him in those parts either, but maybe that was 'cause I knew him) always said, "Oh, it's easy - just make your eyes wide and your jaw slack," but it never seemed to work for me.

Well, at least I'm good at "thinking."

playing dumb

Date: 2007-12-18 05:10 am (UTC)From: (Anonymous)
This may be more of a film thing than a movie thing, but if you un-focus your eyes, it helps make you more convincing as a dumbass. Problem is, you also get a headache, but convincingly shedding a prodigious intellect is no mean task.

Re: playing dumb

Date: 2007-12-18 05:30 am (UTC)From: (Anonymous)
Weirdly, I always have been very good at playing dumb people. The glasses are a problem, but can be worked around. Never messed with eyes, though---I just make use of the old saw about playing drunk, and focus on making clear how hard I'm working at understanding whatever's going on.

And slacken the jaw.

-D McK

Dumb people ain't not so easy

Date: 2007-12-18 03:38 pm (UTC)From: (Anonymous)
The comically dumb guy is something I find I use frighteningly often in my comedies...hopefully in different varieties. John Blaylock, who mastered it by performance, definitely struggled in rehearsal as King Jo. They key to my dumb guys (And, yes, there's one in Cat's Cradle...or a dumb gal, there), is usually the complete cheerfulness about their ignorance. They are undeterred and unembarrassed. It's sort of the Homer Simpson style of dumb guyness, rather than the...Slack Jaw Willie...is that the name of the hillbilly guy?

There was a comic my friends and I read in college, that we ended up quoting to each other (I forget the author) that said "I'm so haaaappy...'cause I'm so stuuuupid..."

There's yet another variety, the one that does a whole lotta thinkin' for not so much result. There the key is the intensity of the stuggle for the comically incorrect answer...for example, "what's two plus two, Marty?"Think, Think think, intensely think, start to answer, stop, think, start , think again, then..."I don't think there's a man alive who know the answer to that, Mike."

Or "Five?" Always can go the simple way.

By the way, talking of Fairy Tales of the Absurd, King Kustard doesn't really fill any of those types, but there a type you do really play well...the sage? And how would you classify Alexander?

Edward E

Date: 2007-12-19 02:19 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] rezendi.livejournal.com
My considerably-less-thoughtful review is that I liked it a lot.

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