Greenhorn Lessons

greenhornIn 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…

14 responses to Greenhorn Lessons

  1. loisajay says:

    This sounds so fun! And I love how they tell you it is perfectly natural for your arms to just stay straight at your side. Really? Not may arms! Hooray for flailing! 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Perhaps it’s because I flail when I swim? I am learning what to do with my appendages at different points in the play and I actually do need to flail at one point.

  2. I used to struggle with dry mouth onstage, which causes the spitting. I used to suck on a piece of candy before I went on, and it did help.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I didn’t even realize I was doing it. It was pretty funny at the time. I’ll keep the candy idea in mind, though, Andra.

  3. So great! And so true!! I know every one of those. 🙂 (Well, maybe not the spitting.)

    Tip for teflon lines? Find a link from the previous line, however bizarre. In fact, the more bizarre the more you’ll remember it. I had to get from “He valued it for sentimental reasons.” to “And how long did Mr Costello remain?”. So I stuck the phrase “sentimental remains” in my head. It worked.

    Of course, then what happens on the night is you remember the teflon line and forget the one you’ve never forgotten once since you started. :/

    Can’t wait to hear all about it. 🙂

  4. M-R says:

    It sounds absolutely WONDERFUL, M-J ! – such huge fun ! But one thing puzzles me (I originally typed that as ‘pizzles’): don’t you have a director ? Surely the director should be there helping all the cast with all of these things ?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      M-R, the two men direct when we are all together, which has been once a week. Natasha directs me when just she and I are practicing together. It’s working out well, I think.

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