Monday, May 7, 2012

If I Could Be Any Cereal? ... Crunch Barries!...No, wait!... Barry Kix!!!

We've finished blocking the show. This is the point during the process where the show really starts to take shape. Like Dr. Frankenstein's creature, all the motley peices have been stitched into place and over the next few weeks, we'll be zapping the hell out of it with lightning in the hopes it'll be able to stand and walk on it's own. It's been fun seeing the differences in characterizations this time around (from the slight to the major). Last week, Todd (TMPMITW) asked if my portrayal of Barry in this production would be the same as last time. My response was "Meh, about fifty-fifty." As an actor, I personally relish the opportunity to play the same part again because (and I'm probably not alone on this) it's a chance to redevelop. It happens with about every show I do. In the ensuing weeks between the end of one show and the beginning of the next set of rehearsals, I review the character I just played and inevitably come up with better jokes or character ideas that would've brought a different view of that character to an audience. The same is definitely true with Barry.
Barry is a character built on reaction, both his reactions to others and their reactions to him. With new actors in the cast come new opportunities for Barry to change. The new Barry is funnier and maybe a little more clearly defined in my head. The first go-round was me consciously trying not to fall into any of Jack Black's cadence. It's one of my favorite movies and one that I can quote word-for-word. Focusing on distancing Barry from Jack worked out well, but it was misguided. I wasnt concerning myself with making Barry a human being whose words and actions came from someplace real. Even characters who are there solely to be comic relief must be taken seriously. A joke isnt funny if the actor playing it is only playing for a laugh (I envision some Paul Lynde/Charles Nelson Riley constantly winking and waggling his glasses at the audience). Taking a joke seriously makes the joke ten times funnier. For example, I occasionally teach acting classes for kids and at the beginning and end of each class we play improv games. I devised a game based on a single line: "My Butt Is Made Of Gummy Bears." The kids tend to love the game for it's absurd nature, but I love the game because each kid has to say the line differently. For some it's a question, for others an exclamation, but everyone does it differently and because of that, wonderfully hilarious things happen. I try to bring that element to each character I play, Some are serious characters, but the principal remains the same. With almost every line, I try to come up with as many deliveries as possible and work at finding one that is neither typical nor way the hell off.
So now before us lies the task of bringing this machine to screaming life. I have a great deal of faith in this cast (Except Jeff, Todd, Nick, Mike, Ryan, Keith, Aaron, Terrie, Kimi, Talicia, Margeau, Sarah, Chrissy,  andTrailer (AKA Muff Booger))

"Fuck this shit, I'm goin to Denny's"
      -Jesus Christ

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