Go big or go home.
This is about a play I did many years ago in North Carolina. It was a farce. A farce is supposed to be fast and funny.
It was a professional theatre. The producer was a professional. The crew were professionals. And the entire cast were professionals, most of us from New York City. The only one who wasn't a professional was the director. He was an idiot.
Not only was he a bad director, he was also argumentative and oppressive. It wasn't long before everyone disliked this guy very much. A day or two before we opened we did a run through for the producer. We weren't fast and funny. We ware slow and boring. That's the way we were directed.
After the run through the producer was sitting by himself on a sofa. I sat beside him and asked "What are we going to do?" He said "I'm taking over this production right now."
After lunch we all gathered together, including the director, and the producer said "From now on you take no notes from anyone but the stage manager." You could almost feel the walls quiver from the communal sigh of relief. Then he said. "I don't care if you step on each other's lines and run into the scenery I want you to do it as fast as you can, triple time."
We did and it was about a half an hour shorter. After it the producer said "Take a break and do it again." It was like sending a race horse out for a fast lap around the track on the day before the race or like a batter swinging three clubs before he steps up to the plate.
There is at least one person, probably reading this item right now, who was in that production and will remember what we went through. (Hi George)
The next night we opened and we were fast and funny.
If you're going to do something important, do it with energy, commitment, passion, enthusiasm and love. Otherwise stay home.
this weekend there will be a special edition of Vagabond Journeys. OTHER VOICES where actors talk about the transcendental art of acting. Be there or be square.