July 25, 2006

the glass menagerie

So, back before all the drama, I auditioned for and was cast in a production of The Glass Menagerie. Now, being the world's biggest dork, I first re-read the play to be sure I had a good hold of the text. I decided to do a monologue I haven't used in a while, so I broke down and purchased a copy of the play it's from (Journey to the Day), read that, and worked the monologue. I thought it to be appropriate, since the character is a 19 year-old mental patient, and the play is a drama. I also researched dialects, examining the way people in Saint Louis speak, compared to other parts of Missouri and true Southern. Basically, it is midwestern, with a few hints of dialect here and there. I researched the various conditions either mentioned about Laura in the play, and some that I felt possible for her to have. I reasearched Tennessee Williams' life. When it came to the day of the audition I wore a vintage dress (given to me by G's paternal grandmother) and did a pretty darn good monologue, if I do say so myself.

I was cast in the show. What is weird is that the guy I had all the drama with is how I heard about the audition, and followed up on it. He was positive that he was going to be cast, which he wasn't. He held out hope through the readthrough, and was sure it was an oversight...it wasn't. He then proceeded to be jealous of me...again, weird...we weren't even up for the same role or anything. He told me at one point that it just wasn't the type of role he would see me in, since it was different from the other roles he's seen me do. Ummm...hello, why it's called acting.

Anyhow, I'll start with the readthrough. This made me nervous. The woman playing Amanda seemed excellent. The guy playing Tom at that point seemed okay, but I was sure that with work, he would be okay. The guy playing the gentleman caller gave me pause. He couldn't read. Seriously. He would get lost midsentence and would say words that weren't close to what was on the page. However, I decided to trust the director. My first rehearsal with him, he was totally unprepared. He didn't have his lines highlighted, and didn't have anything to take down his blocking and business. He was getting acting notes, but none about the random words he used and mispronounciations. There were so many, I won't even attempt to catalogue them here. When just he and I were running lines, I attempted to correct some of them (against my rule of not giving fellow actors direction, but it came to a point where I realized it wasn't gonna happen). In a few cases, it worked. Now, don't get me wrong, I think the kid has potential, but he needs a lot of training, and someone needs to call him on the reading thing. He's a high school graduate, yet apparently no one checked to make sure he was fully literate. But, that is a tangent for another day. He also needs to learn professionalism. He was the last actor to be off book (he was calling for line the day before final dress, when there was no one on book), and there were times we had to wonder if he was going to be there for performances. EEK! We made it through the run, however. Tom wound up doing pretty well, and I felt like we had some nice brother/sister moments. I adored the woman playing Amanda. She was a delight to work with, and was very professional and talented. I'm hoping to have an opportunity to work with her again.

While I enjoyed doing the show, I was also happy to put it to bed. It was an exhausting process, both because there was a lot to the character, and because there was so much shite going on. I'm proud of my work on the show, but wish I could have been more focused.

Posted by raven at July 25, 2006 06:54 AM
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