Friday, November 10, 2006

FYI

FYI. As childish and boorish as was the thread on Followspot about THE TEMPEST--that is, as irrelevent as it was--I nonetheless find going on stage much more difficult, now, knowing that we're catnip for malicious theater gossip, even if the gossipers are children. Last night, I struggled not to give into some means of apologizing for my performance, even while performing. Looking at the theater people I knew in the audience, I wanted hide from them. And I did, a little, especially in my opening speech. Try as I might to 'throw' myself into it, a greater part of me remained preoccupied--and more numb--than usual. My reaction makes me rue my own past unkindnesses to fellow performers (that said, note the way in which I talk about JINGLE SPREE, giving specific feedback, rather than denigrating performers' efforts.)

November. Dark days. Give each other a hand up, people, rather than push them away. Karma's a mean dog.

On the upside: stem cell research won; education won; Rumsfeld lost; the corrupt Republican Oligarchy has had a (at least temporary) setback. Cheers.

8 comments:

Trish Egan & Harold Phillips said...

Ah, don't hide from it, David... go out there and give them the same show others have criticised. That way they can make up their own mind as to whether the criticism was warrented. I've been sure to provide the same "physical slackness" on the Jingle Spree stage for just that reason :)

Seriously, though... setting foot on stage means accepting the possibility that criticism, however harsh, will be lobbed your way. Best to just let it pass over your head and keep doing the job you set out to do. People will judge you one way or the other no matter what you do up there... so you might as well do the best you can and just push on through.

David said...

I can deal with criticism. It's free floating hatred, projection and lashing out that tar me.

Anonymous said...

The followspot thread, for the most part, wasn't about the Tempest, though. They were lashing out at each other for the most part. Just because the first post about the Tempest drew a large amount of attention doesn't mean the negative responses to that post and others were necessarily about your show-- I doubt a lot of those people even saw the show.

David said...

You're right. Though, there was one particularly nasty post directed specifically at me. The poster later said s/he was joking, but if it was a joke, it was strained, at best.... My little feelings got hurt.

jason said...

Hey, man, you can intellectualize that stuff all you want, but at the end of the day the best take on it is: FUCK 'EM. FUCK THEM RIGHT IN THE EAR, that's what I say. They're all sitting back passing judgment anonymously on the internet while you're out WORKING A GIG. I have found that real venom comes more from jealousy and insecurity than anything else. They wish they were you. So I say again: FUCK EM.

Trish Egan & Harold Phillips said...

Fuck them right in the ear... I think I've found my own personal motto! I'm going to go out and get FERITE embroidered on something! :)

David said...

Okay. I'm just scared, now.

David Loftus said...

I don't know how to say this; I'm not even sure what I intend to say, so it'll probably come out kinda wrong.

I know it's hard to step out there and do that thang when there's been extra-theatrical static, when you know there's a critic in the house, when you can't depend on a fellow thespian to feed you all the right cues, when there's a lot of friends and family or an actor or director you especially look up to out there ... allathat crap that shouldn't be loaded on top of all we have to do even when the show is going well. But I think we need to forget about the audience, however that can be accomplished; forget about pleasing or entertaining them, really. Just live in the words, in the emotions, in the moment of listening to and responding to whoever's sharing the space, or what you might be thinking or feeling as the character -- because if you do that, you can't help but please and entertain.

Sound impossible? Crazy? Schizophrenic? But by definition acting is already all those things, it seems to me. I'm already being myself, judging and timing and encouraging and hiding disappointment and fear and anxiety and even occasional joy and triumph in myself as an actor on a stage, at the same time as I'm being someone else who is my character. So I can be aware of the audience (watching out not to step on their laughter) at the same time as I don't really care about them, keep forgetting about them.

Be Caliban with all your heart and mind and soul! Play him as if you were offering him up to God (said the lifelong atheist) as well as trying to get for him whatever he wants out of those other creatures in that space, and nobody else noticed or mattered.