i had some extra time.
Saturday afternoon Eric and I performed at a poetry slam.
You have to understand that we didn’t know we were going to be there.
A friend had called and asked us to do five minutes in a “performance extravaganza” he was assembling for a theatre festival. He had suggested I do “Genie In a Bottle” and that Eric perform a sketch that he used to perform. Knowing that my friend was a slam poet, I wanted to make sure that Eric and I weren’t going to look like a couple of jags standing on their stage bringing comedy to people that wanted to start a revolution.
He assured us that we’d fit in just fine.
Just before the performance I decided to create a backup plan in case the warehouse wasn’t prepared for me to breakdance on its floor. I brought pieces of an entry to read that I had transformed into a five minute monologue about writing greeting cards and how I felt it was a neglected form of poetry. I would then read several of my Valentine poems.
I showed up at the warehouse before Eric did. What did I see?
Revolution, baby. Revolution.
Eric showed up a few minutes after I did and we spent five minutes fretting over what we were now going to do. The stage was about three feet wide and one foot deep. I wasn’t going to be able to hula hoop there. The floor was concrete. My spine did not want to spin on that surface. There were no chairs – audience members were to sit on the floor. Obviously I was to follow Plan B. Eric, realizing that our joint piece was to be the one piece of non-poetry in the two-hour performance, agreed to my idea of changing my Plan B monologue into a two-person bit.
We did it, and it wasn’t horrible. In fact, they even laughed a few times.
But I learned something very important that day. I learned that I wouldn’t know good poetry if it came up and bit me on the ass.
People were standing up and screaming for some of these poets. Audience members would shout in agreement as these poets chanted their words. Sometimes they would all break out into song.
I was WAY out of my element. I didn’t know what to do.
And the worst was I really felt like an idiot. I didn’t want the other performers to think I was mocking them by going up and speaking my “words” while they were all spilling their guts out and trying to make a difference. But that’s what it looked like, I’m sure. I felt like an asshole.
We saw Cradle Will Rock today. Two problems:
I know that everyone loved Shakespeare In Love, but I just want to tell all of the non-actors out there that your show’s shittiest actor is still shitty on opening night. I don’t care if that opening night is before the Queen or before a sold-out crowd of revolutionaries. If he’s a stutterer, he’s still going to stutter. If she can’t sing, she still can’t sing. If he never remembers his lines, he will fuck those lines up worse than you’ve ever heard in any rehearsal.
The “magic” of theatre does not cure dreadful acting. I’m sorry to break it to you.
And after reading about Stee’s commercial audition woes, all I have to say is, “At least you aren’t here.”
SHORT GUY FROM EVERY PLAY THAT EVERYONE WAS SUPPOSED TO SEE
Fancy seeing you here.
GIRL FROM EVERY PLAY AT AVANT GARDE THEATRE
Ha. That’s funny.
What part are you reading?
Oh, I already have the part, they just want me to come in here and read with some of the guys.
Do you want to read with me?
Yeah, that sounds fine. I’ll make sure they make you read with me.
Congratulations on your awards.
Well, I wasn’t sure if I’d get ALL of them this year, what with me working on so many side projects, but luckily they saw that I was still the only talent in this town.
Well, the six of us.
We’re a good six.
I’m just glad we’re the only ones in town actually making any money with our acting. Can you imagine if everyone got paid to do this?
How would they know that we’re the only good ones?
Do you guys know where the auditions for “Our Town” are going to be?
No one is doing “Our Town.”
No, right here. It says so in the Chronicle.
Oh. That’s in Round Rock. That’s not Austin theatre.
She had me worried.
Me too. I thought I was going to have to be in “Our Town.”
Ha! I know! That would have been dreadful.
Unless it was a lesbian “Our Town.” You would have been great in that.
I know. That’s not a bad idea for next season.
Could I borrow your side?
Sure. I don’t need it anyway.
You memorized it?
No, they usually don’t make me read. This is just a formality.
We’re both in the show already. They’re holding auditions to cast the people playing trees.
How many trees?
Oh, they’re lesbian trees, so you probably aren’t going to get called.
They’re holding auditions for “Our Town,” though. Here’s the Chronicle.
I’m just trying to help!
But back to the movie.
The other thing that bothered me was the portrayal of Frida Kahlo. I realize that she was only in there to give Diego’s character more color, but it was rather sad to see her dancing and running down escalators, as I doubt she did that much in real life, what with the accident and Polio and all. The worst part was making her work on Diego’s mural. She wouldn’t have done that. There was no need to put her in the film just to change her character completely and make her some chippy that hung on Diego.
Other than those two points, I really liked the film. I went home and looked up the film on the IMBD because I was trying to see where we had seen Angus MacFadyen before.
And that’s where I started reading the reviews. Apparently the liberties taken with history and people were even vaster than I realized. Some of the characters had been turned into caricatures, and some scenes couldn’t possibly have happened.
I also learned how many critics couldn’t stand the film. And not just some small town radio station critic or something. Big critics. Magazines and newspapers I respect. They hated the film. They found it insulting at times.
And that’s when I wondered if I knew good film if it bit me on the ass.
Sure, we all make our own opinions when we see art. But I know that after I see a film I read what Diane or Harry said to see if I agree with them. I check out Rotten Tomatoes to see if I agree with the majority of the critics.
And now that I’ve read the reviews, I don’t like the movie as much as I did. I can see why some people were insulted. I can see that maybe the depictions of these people weren’t rounded. I can see why people hated the film.
But do I really dislike the film, or do I dislike the film because I was told that I should?
VH-1’s viewers’s choice for the top three songs of all time are “Free Bird,” “American Pie” and “Stairway to Heaven.” Man, VH-1 is really not my demographic. And just so you know, I’m not watching the show. Eric is. I can hear it in the next room. It’s not me. “American Pie” makes my eyebrows hurt. I’m not kidding. That song never, ever ends.
But what do I know, right? Those may very well be the three best songs ever. I’m just wrong. I’m all wrong. My opinion is for shit.
No matter how many films I saw this year I still didn’t see all of the Golden Globe winners. Dammit. Not enough time.
Apparently some of you view this site through other URLs. Did you know that you just have to type www.pamie.com?