Friday, March 18, 2011

The Comfort Zone: I'm Not In Mine

This evening I auditioned for a part in a play.  I don't know how big a part, how visible, whether I'm expected to dance or do something very outre.  This is the first part I've auditioned for since...hmm...second grade.

That was quite a while ago.

It's quite the fantasy.  We see the stars do amazing things on the silver screen, we watch our familiar performers make us laugh every week on the little screen.  Sometimes, if we are lucky, we catch a live performance.  Few and far between, it turns out, are actors.  It's always the same names in lights, the same names scrolling in time to the music.  You see screen actors on TV and TV actors in the movies.  Movie and TV actors step outside their comfort zone to play on stage.

Shakespearean actors take command of the Starship Enterprise.

How would it be, then, to be the face the others watch?  As a handyman I'm well attuned to the physics of bending inanimate objects to my well.  Sometimes that takes literally bending them.  But what does it mean to make that happen over a distance to a person?  I love to make people laugh in conversation, if I were to describe my dream job it would probably fit "professional comedian" to a T.  But I'm no comedian.  I just like wordplay, puns, jokes.  Having fun is good.  Making other people laugh usually means they're having fun, too - and that's even better.

Can I do that for a crowd?  Can I do it not one-on-one but to a whole audience of people who are sitting there, expecting me to make them laugh?  I'm funny (I think) with mental gymnastics and timing - it's completely different to work from someone else's material.  It's completely different to have so much of my performance rely on someone else's performance, too.  It's a big production, 17 actors all doing their thing.

We'll see.  I've always told people I suffer from crippling stage fright.  I watched one audition and decided that if nothing else, I would probably at least survive an audition. 

We'll see.  And in the meantime, this is the only reason I'm going back to facebook.
Check them out: Norris Little Theater facebook page

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