it’s almost over
As much as I’ve been complaining about how busy I am, I’m really sad that Polaroid Stories is ending tomorrow. We’ve joked about how we haven’t done this much rehearsal for a show since competitive high school theatre, where you had 35 minutes to put up a show, run it and strike it, and you were up against other high schools in your state. We were rehearsing over thirty hours a week. When we first got there, only some of us knew each other, and we stayed pretty quiet. Within a week, we were hanging out and laughing like we’d known each other all along. And the hardest part about ending a show is knowing that some of those people you probably won’t see again very often. The only reason you met was because you both were in this show. Otherwise your lives don’t ever cross.
Having been in a troupe for so long, I had kind of forgotten what that was like. After the comedy show is over you just start working on the next one. When you do a play with a group of friends, you know that when the play is over you’ll still hang out every weekend and see each other’s shows and all that. But with this, it’s different. There are people in this cast in high school, in college, people who don’t even live in Austin. My chances of just bumping into them at another show aren’t as good.
I guess I just didn’t see it coming. I knew the show was going to be a lot of work. What was different about this cast was that we didn’t have a scapegoat. Usually there’s someone in the cast that everyone can’t stand and the sound of his or her voice makes your skin crawl. We didn’t have that. We all got along. They came to see my one person show. That means after spending five consecutive nights with me, they took their day off to go see me again. That means a lot to me. The ones who missed it are planning on coming next week to the audition show. Some of them plan to come again, just to support me. To be there to laugh, and to tell me what they liked — they give me feedback on the show and ask questions.
I’ve noticed that after I perform the one person show people are more talkative to me than they were before. I noticed this with my journal as well. People that I hardly know form a sort of bond with me because I think they got to know me a bit better. Wouldn’t that be nice if we could do that with everyone? Just have them sit down and listen to what you have to say for about an hour and then you listen to them and then you have a good base to start your friendship. You know where each other stand on issues, what makes you laugh, what scares you. I’ve learned quite a bit from these two shows.
Having to cover yourself in mud every night itches, but when everyone has to do it, it feels like some sort of club.
Shaving your head and covering it in glitter makes you the coolest fucker on stage.
When you think you understand why kids run away from home and live on the street– you don’t. There’s more stories than you know.
Don’t have a touring one person show depend on light calls and sound cues. It isn’t worth it.
People love to talk about sex.
There comes a point in a show where it doesn’t matter anymore who sees you in your underwear.
You can write a play for a comedy audience, but it’s the theatre audience who’s going to love it more. You remind yourself that you were an actor first, and what you love about John Leguizamo or Whoopi Goldberg or Paula Poundstone or Eddie Izzard is the way they seem so comfortable. That’s what you were trying to do. And when people keep telling you that the best part of your show was how comfortable and easy and honest you were up there you realize you did just what you wanted and you feel better. When you’ve heard from more than one person that it was “inspiring,” well, that’s just gravy, man.
Improv makes you a better actor. No matter how many times you’ve run the script, you never know what’s going to come out of the other actor’s mouth.
Any monologue is hilarious when it’s done in a Christopher Walken impersonation.
Sometimes you have to act bigger than your costume.
When you feel worse than you’ve ever felt in your life and you drag your ass into rehearsal the day after your cat died and your face feels hot and your stomach is swirly, and your new friend turns to you and says, “Wow. You look like Nancy Sinatra.” and you say, “Thank you, I feel like shit,” and the other person says, “Well, you look beautiful when you feel like shit” — that’s when you know you’re making friends.
The words “My cat died” can make a group of near strangers give you a hug and you know you’re in something bigger than you thought.
A Tiffany song can send an entire cast running out to sing and you’re surprised that the punk rock chick next to you knows all the words.
Five conversations can go on at once and you understand all of them.
It’s the kindness that surprises me most.
A one person show makes people want to hug.
Theatre can be done with only a chair.
I’m glad I didn’t have to shave my head.
I’m gonna miss these guys.