I'm feeling like I should be contributing something. This is kind of like a paid vacation. Mind you, I'm not griping about it I'm just not used to it. I HAVE been doing things though--I was just doing something, before I came back to California mere days ago.
So in a vain effort to justify my existence I've decided to write about what I WAS doing starting from where I last blogged--at the end of Cal Shakes final show last season--a sort of "Where Did This Year Go?" retrospective..................and I will, I'm sure, be doing something soon. Don't go away.
I had a bit of time off after As You Like It closed and then launched into A Christmas Carol at ACT as Scrooge--we kind of took it apart and put it back together again, added some new text cut some old, tweaked it and teased it until Domineque Lozono (last year's director and a fellow CST Associate Artist), Carey Perloff, myself and all others felt it land a bit cleaner and sharper. I was pleased with the way it came out--there's always the danger when remounting a piece of forgetting that you may have different actors and thinking "Well, let's just get it up and plug it all back in (not that we did) and we'll have a show." Danger Will Robinson!! One actor is seldom happy with another's choice--since they weren't there when it was made they have nothing to tie it to, and it won't feel like something organic but something imposed. I did a remount of Winters Tale once and was having real problems trying to recreate another actor's choices and make them work truthfully--at one point turning to the director and saying as much. They replied "I don't understand WHAT your problem is Carpenter--the last actor who played this role......" and stopped when I spun around and raised my eyebrow. Really high. The director eventually got so frustrated with us all that she blew up and called rehearsal for the day.
I think the Conservatory students saw that I was taking the role seriously and engaged beautifully in the show--they asked questions, made choices and took risks. Below is a picture taken during the rehearsal process. That's me on the bottom. In case you were wondering. And even though I closely resemble the Orangutan doctor in the original Planet of the Apes movie--I'm actually being the bottom end of a totem pole. I think. That or I was really cranky and they were making fun of me behind my back--equally possible. The little goon in the middle was our Tiny Tim--loved her to pieces--and the larger goon on top was our irrepressible Turkey Boy.
You can't really tell in this shot but I grew some deeply strange sideburns which came to a point on the tip of my chin. My neighbors think I'm really weird........nobody bothered me on BART though.
And my wife Cass and I had a beautiful, uncomplicated, uncommercial Christmas-- A simple Christmas; I hope you had a good one too.
Coming Up: Why I let my hair grow so long and skanky!