Wednesday, April 6, 2011

No Specific Topic

Having been at this blogging thing for a few months now, I can see how a lot of people get started, then just taper off and stop.  It takes some effort to keep it going, a dedication to keep delivering.

That, or a certain level of vanity.

Moving on!  In a previous post I mentioned I had auditioned for a play.  I received a part, and we're into our second week of rehearsals.  I'll be the fourth person to die in the play, but that doesn't mean I don't have a fair amount of lines to remember.  Even so, as I settle into the part and become more familiar with his mindset, it's becoming easier to memorize the lines.  Being who and what he is, the character reacts thus-and-such a way, being that character means acting and reacting, not like that character, but as that character.

"Who am I?  What is my motivation?"  We hear them as cliches of the performing world, but they really are the touchstones of performing.  You don't want to portray, you want to be.  Achieve that, and you've eliminated the audience's need to suspend their disbelief in order to enjoy the play.  They won't have to suspend it, because they'll be watching not the actor being a character, but just the character.

I've already made the offer to trim my beard into whatever shape the director requires.  He said, "we'll see what Costume wants."

I'm halfway hoping for muttonchops.

In other news, mowing season has begun.  In spite of what I wrote earlier on the economies of buying good equipment and taking care of it, my mower may be toast.

Oh noes!  The horrors.  God forbid I won't be able to mow my lawn.

Actually I think it's very attractive in its current state, the lush, luxuriant growth of spring is very pretty.  But no, leave it long and the city will eventually get annoyed and issue a ticket.  That sort of thing makes me start shopping in the real estate ads for properties in the county.  It's far cheaper to either get the mower working or find a new one.  Eleven years of constant use is pretty good, so I'm not feeling bad about it dying if it is really dead.  Right now I'm going on the assessment of Son, who is a bright and inquisitive lad (and one of the few characters in the play that doesn't die) but may well have overlooked something.

In fact, I'm almost hoping it is dead.  That means I get to shop for an older garden tractor, something classically rugged and handsome and will do the walking for me.

This also flies in the face of earlier statements, that Americans are fat because they're lazy, they won't do for themselves what they can make a machine do for them.  It's true.

Let me back up a bit and touch on the play again.  With rehearsals four nights a week, I'm not watching TV.  Now, I don't have an antenna on my TV, nor do I get cable.  If it isn't on a DVD, I don't see it.  That limits what I watch to a degree, but frankly there's so little out there I do want to watch.  Whenever I see a cable show, almost invariably the thought that crosses my mind the most is, "dang, there sure are a lot of commercials on a channel I'm already paying to watch," closely followed by, "dang, they sure do show a lot of commercials about the channel itself."  DVD-based viewing means no commercials, which means the story flows very smoothly, and I get my watching over in only three-fourths the time.

But no TV in the evening hasn't hurt me a bit.  I'm off the couch and moving around, exercising my body and my brain.  It's even fun, and when was the last time you spent a couple of hours right after work and dinner doing something fun?

No, nooky doesn't count.  And unless you're Superman, it doesn't take a couple of hours, either.

So even if you're not playing a halfway-minor part in a local theater production, don't head straight for the couch after dinner.  Pick up a camera and go for a walk around the neighborhood - it's springtime, shoot some pictures of blooming dogwoods.  Play catch with the kids, draw a picture.  Crochet a doily.

What the heck is a doily?

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