Friday, March 26, 2010

"stay away from actors. they're whores and pimps"

that's what the people of a small pennsylvania town told their children. a british actress who'd come for a summer of stock shocked. in england performers have a different status, appreciated wherever they are. however, in this puritan land...

remember those two actors in 'huck finn'? shady characters, shysters, thieves, and lousy thespians. how is it our stars put on pedestals and the road-show artist not? good god, in 2006 half the news stories in the u.s.a. about brittany speers! and on the evening reports the problems of sandra bullock's marriage equal the war in afghanistan. both receive the same emphasis and time.

oscar wilde wrote, 'Our servants will do our living for us.' is that what it's come to? the twilight zone kids do everything (like sucking blood) which we'd love to do, but don't dare? i'm just bowled over by how the young and old devour the lurid tabloids in the barnes & noble cafe.

oddly, despite it's reputation, theater a high art. think about how many people it takes over weeks to learn lines, create costumes, build a set, arrange the lights, record the sounds. and all this for a few nights of performance, which i'm amazed ever happens. the actors and crew have to show up sober. a run can be grueling. broken ankles. strained backs. voices need to work through the veil of bronchitis. (an actor in ashland, oregon performs despite turret's syndrome.) the show must go on more than a battle cry. it's a reality.

an example of this, the show opening last nite at the blue room theater in chico, california, my home town. i took a lot of photos for the first dress, the preparations and run-through. you can see the pictures here:

notice how many people needed to get the work done. the attention to detail. the sweat on the actors faces. this is no idle past-time. every one believes they too can act. they've a body and a voice, why not? cause it's damn difficult, that's why. it takes a tremendous focus and team-work. most of us are lazier than actors. and i, personally, find them remarkable people.