In between the never-ending movement of boxes and belongings, Natasha and I are still practicing our lines for the bachelorette party’s comedy murder mystery. We are pretty much “off book” as she calls it, acting out our scenes without robotic reading from a piece of paper. (Truth be told, I was the robot on the first night.) It’s been a trip, it’s been fun, and it’s been a learning process – this first-time, thespian experience. Natasha tells me I am doing well, but I have discovered a few things about myself and acting that I would like to share with you, from a greener than green greenhorn:
- Practice, practice, practice. When you start remembering everyone else’s lines, along with your own, practice again.
- Do not follow the other thespians around like a little puppy following its mother. It’s okay to stand in one spot when having a conversation with others. No, really it is.
- There is no need to stare intently at the person who is speaking to you. It’s okay to look away (and make faces).
- Walking and talking and remember lines is a hard thing to do. It’s like patting your head, rubbing your stomach and cooking dinner all at the same time.
- I’m still working on what to do with the props, especially the glass of alcohol and diamond necklace.
- No, wait a minute, I know what to do with a glass of alcohol and how to demand more. “Manfred! Get me another damn drink!”
- Being over dramatic means just that. Be loud, stamp your feet, wave your arms, say “damn!” if you must, and let Mariah Carey fall in the shadow of your diva-ness.
- While I was told that I have excellent enunciation and articulation, I also spit when angrily telling my castmate that she cheated on her bar exam. The situation will improve when she’s wearing her cowboy hat (spit guard).
- People look at you funny when you practice at the mall. I half expected mall security to show up, especially when I was angrily poking Natasha in the chest.
- I flail my arms aimlessly as I haven’t quite learned what to do with them. Thankfully, I haven’t hit anyone while I’ve been flailing.
- Keep talking when the end of your line goes like this…
- …until the next person starts talking.
- Finding the proper tiara, costume and accessories is crucial to the character. I only hope I don’t trip over the hem of the dress and fall into the lap of an unsuspecting audience member. (Then again, that might be kind of funny.)
- Practicing with the entire crew is a barrel of laughs. Every single time. Someone says something ridiculous, someone forgets their lines, someone makes crazy stuff up, I spit and flail, Kelly scares everyone with her screeching. It’s hilarious.
- Everyone has a teflon line, one that doesn’t come easy. It happens to the veterans that surround me, even the two guys who have done this murdery mystery three or four times before. I have a couple, one of which is “Whatever are we to do?” How appropriate and I don’t know.
The biggest lesson I have learned is that I may want to do this again. I have found enjoyment from this adventure, it’s allowed me to let loose and be silly at a time when I needed it most. I’ll let you know when all is said and done and if I somehow managed to spit out 99% of my lines without getting anyone wet. Two and a half weeks to go…