Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Angiol mio caro, non mi lasciar.

Before anything else: Sita had surgery yesterday for her urinary reflux problem. Minor surgery, but general anesthesia. Everything went well but she still has to wear a catheter until tomorrow morning.

Okay, anyway.
Performing makes me think existentially. (At least, I think it's existentialism I mean. If not, whoops. I'm too lazy to check.) In Little Women, for instance, it always struck me in the middle of Weekly Volcano Press, when I'm looking at Becki, singing a story, pretending I'm in my forties and I own a boarding house and she's the daughter of my friend and the governess of my daughters and she's talking, not singing, and meanwhile a bunch of other people are playing the characters in her story; not just a fair maiden and an evil aristocrat and a tired knight and all, but a hag and a troll and a swamp. (Yes, a swamp.) I have to pretend that they are what I see and hear in my head as I watch Becki and listen to her telling the story. Add the mics and costumes and make-up and lights and set and props and dialects and the way we never turn our backs to the audience, and suddenly all I can think is, "This is ridiculous. Why do humans respond to this?"

But today in performance class I sang Il Sospiro, and even though it's in Italian (which I do not speak) and tells a completely fictional story, my thoughts were more along the lines of "I am sharing this because it is beautiful music, and singing it to the audience is more personal than pulling up a YouTube of it, even if the YouTube wouldn't shake so much."

And that is why I am not a theatre major; I may know it's amazing and everything, but when it frightens me, I abandon that thought.

This was written up very quickly between classes. Let's hope I said everything the way I meant, because I'm (again) too lazy to do any more work on it.


  1. "Existential" is, indeed, the word you were looking for, and it's an excellent question you ask (and a poetic post you hastily post). A further extension of that question is, Why do people respond to elaborate productions like that, as well as to productions staged with a minimum of makeup and very little scenery on a stage where the audience is literally an arm's length away, in basically the same way? While spectacle can be awesome for its own sake, that question can still lead to depression if treated too seriously.

    1. This is why I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. Because you never stop telling stories, and that's all I want to do, tell stories. Then I got to know other designers. Now I don't know what I want.