Sunday, May 04, 2008


I love actors. I love 'em. Unless they are assholes. But sometimes asshole actors are good actors and that's annoying. Otherwise, yes, I love actors. I've been fortunate to work with many good actors who are remarkably asshole free if you don't consider their anatomical asshole, which I don't, 'cause everybody has one of those. Is it hero worship? Maaaaybe. I've acted (a little) and I know I can never be a capital letters ACTOR. I don't got the chops or rib-cracking open heartedness or balls or guts or courage. Don't gots the skillz to pay those billz yo. That acting shit's difficult! If you are an actor who serves the play well with your energy and talent, the playwright may want to hug you and kiss you and perhaps do consensual things with you. Who knows. Time Out Chicago had a nice feature on actors, talented men and women you may have encountered if you dip your toes in the Chicago theatre pool every now and then. Michael Patrick Thornton's performance in The Good Thief was kinda - well - great. Can I explain to you why? I can't. Not really, not if you didn't experience it. The nature of thea-tuh. One and done. Pow.

I think about actors when I show up for the first few rehearsals for one of my plays, when their business becomes my business. This weekend I sat in on the first few table readings of Psalms of a Questionable Nature. I'm excited about the group of people working on it. Table readings are high-wire acts of discovery (actors) and restraint (playwrights) and discovery and restraint (actors and playwrights). Could I act my play better than them? Ha ha no. Uhh no. I want to be as helpful as I can and there's a fine-line-high-wire: feel it cutting the arch of the foot and have faith the actors will find that moment. They'll make those discoveries. If it's in the text, it will be found by actors and directors and designers and audience.