Monday, November 10, 2008

The art of underwhelming activity - more stories from Bridges

Because Theatre Experience of Southern California (a/k/a Children's Theatre Experience of Southern California) is an ensemble group, it takes time to emphasize the ensemble aspects of performing. Basically, while Andrew and Tory and the rest are running around advancing the story, the rest of us have a job to do. I've already mentioned that everyone needs to know who they are and why they're on stage - perhaps someone is walking to the cafeteria to get an extra-delicious mango - and as we're in the final rehearsals for our "High School Musical" performances later this week, all of us are getting our individual stories in place.

This, of course, gives me an opportunity for continued over-analysis, and I sort of take advantage of it.

But I have to do it carefully, since the ensemble has to make sure that they are complementing the main cast members, not overwhelming them. There's a particular scene where I am pontificating at great length, but you won't hear a word of it. In fact, I won't hear a word of it either. That's because, while we're all actively doing stuff, we're just mouthing the words.

In my case, I am engaged in a dialogue with some non-high school students who are asking me question. I am not a lip reader by any means, so in reality I wasn't able to make out most of their questions, with two exceptions:

What time is it?

I have to go to the bathroom.

No, the person didn't have to go to the bathroom. I don't think.

I respond to these real and imagined questions off the top of my head, sometimes indicating a watch, sometimes indicating the mechanisms of a combination lock (an important skill that future high schoolers must master), and sometimes I speak

But very carefully. It would not be appropriate for me to echo Professor Chrestenson's proof conclusion (see the last bullet in this post), so instead I speak of the joys of the scientific method. Well, I have been throwing in this one line:

She blinded me with science!

But even if I spoke the words aloud, my young audience wouldn't get the reference.


(And yes, the next time I give my silent speech, I could very well say "She blinded me with science. Yes, I blogged about it.")

P.S. to a few of you that caught it - yes, I am well-aware of the parallels between the allegations of narcissism on FriendFeed and narcissism in theatrical performance. All I can say is - if the shoe fits, you still have to make sure it's the right type of shoe.

P.P.S. Yes, I'm probably the first person to cite the Fly Lady and Thomas Dolby in the same post.

P.P.P.S. Yes, Homer and Marge are silent also. Then again, no one's brought donuts yet.

Sphere: Related Content
blog comments powered by Disqus