Monday, November 27, 2006

Dying is NOT Easy

This weekend the play I'm in had another two performances. Saturday's was poorly attended but we got big laughs, and Sundays we had lots of people (including my in-laws, god help me) but the audience was... quietly appreciative. Especially during the first act. The second act went well because a lot of the plot dominoes that are set up in the first act start falling, but that first hour was deadly.

And I learned a lot. Not about show biz, or audiences. I learned how handy I can be with a metaphor.

During intermission my costar Scott, who has all kinds of acting experience except comedy on stage, was worried that we were doing a bad show. I said, you know what? It's like we are a tango dancer and the audience is our partner. We are actually doing as good a dance as always - but our partner is stiff and doesn't know the steps. We just have to keep dancing as best we can and hope she catches up.

And like I say, she did. I don't know that much about stage plays, but those years of improv taught me that you can be funny even if the audience is made of stone, or some bonded-carbon substance which is as hard as stone, but easier to carve into useful shapes.

Poor Scott though. I'm sure he was thinking of the old quote "Dying is easy - comedy is hard." Having spent a whole first act dying, he's probably re-thinking that position statement.

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