My acting class has been on hiatus since a few days before Christmas. We return tomorrow. I have a scene in the works with a talented actress named Stacy. We are putting up (for the second time) Clifford Odets' "Waiting for Lefty". I really enjoy the scene, because a voice like Odets' is missing in today's playwright world. Clifford captured the essence of the great depression in this play. Stacy told me during rehearsal that "It makes her sad when she sees a family on the subway and I can just tell that the husband can't provide for them." I believe I am paraphrasing a bit, but that's basically what it was about.
Not being able to provide is a huge fear of mine, and I'm sure that I'm not alone. I've had a few bad months here and there with regards to real estate or acting and when the rent is due, it's due. So I try to channel those feelings and ride with that emotion. "That" emotion for me is a mix of panic, self doubt, self loathing, perhaps some depression and general rage. Few things in the world are worse then when I bust my hump the whole week and Friday, when checks are cut....I have nothing to show for it. That is one long and slow train ride home, let me tell you.
The character in the scene is "Joe". Joe is a cabby, he has a wife and two children. He arrives home to find his wife in the apartment, but all of the furniture is gone. All of their possessions have been repossessed. His wife put the kids to bed "so that they wouldn't know they missed dinner." Then, of course, fireworks ensue between Joe and his wife, Edna. Joe threatens domestic violence. Edna calls Joe a "four star loser" and tells him that she is going to pay a visit to an old flame of hers, who is prospering. "He still keeps a picture of me in a locket on his chain!"
Emasculated, robbed and cuckolded; Joe's back is up against the wall. This is just the second scene of the play, and the first time the audience sees these two characters! We are set to rehearse today for about an hour. Those are two benefits of being a rental agent: an open schedule and access to empty apartments. I haven't had to pay for rehearsal space in years! Last time we put up the scene, it was lacking conflict, and that was my mistake. Today and tomorrow night during class, I'm going to let it rip. I'm going to toss technique out of the window and allow the scene to take me wherever it does. It's going to be visceral and I will lose myself in it.
More to come: Black Swan and 8 rounds of boxing sparring. Today, tomorrow, or the day after....stay tuned.