Okay, Something Intangible is up and running, reviews are coming in (they are great, by the way), and now I have to switch gears, put my actor hat on, and get ready for Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.
For those of you who don’t know, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, by Tom Mula, is a one-man show that looks at Dickens’s classic tale through the eyes of Jacob Marley. And I am the “one-man” in that scenario. And to be clear, there are 18 characters and two acts and a whole lotta talkin’ by this guy.
So, basically I have been trying to cram the lines into my head over the last few months anytime I could find an extra second to do so. And now that task begins in earnest. And, let me tell you, there are a lot of words in this play. I have performed professionally in a lot of plays all over this country. Shakespeare, World Premieres, big casts, small casts (two people), I done it all, folks. Except this whole one-person show thing. I have seen them, I have even co-directed one, but never have I acted in one.
And, generally, memorization comes pretty easy to me. It is not something that I have ever really had an issue with. But now for the first time I am beginning to understand why some lay people ask, “How do you memorize all those lines?” ‘Cause let me tell you, right now, I don’t know.
All I know at this moment is that I am spending a lot of time alone in rooms, talking to myself. I mean literally to myself. I am having conversations between characters, asking myself a question, answering it. Yelling at myself even. If someone set a camera up in these rooms, or was hiding and watching what I was doing, I am pretty sure they would report me to the authorities.
Oh, and my brain is mush. When I try to speak as myself, not the written words that Tom Mula has indicated that my characters say, it makes no sense. My wife just stares and laughs at me. If I tried to say to someone the content of this blog, it would probably just tumble out as a nonsensical stream of noises.
However, I love what I do. Eryn Bates, our General Manager, wrote a blog yesterday about why she got into the wackadoo business of theatre. And I have a lot of reasons why, but one of them is the challenge. I love a challenge, and I love the challenges that being an actor brings to me. And this Marley is certainly a challenge. And I say, “Bring it on!” Except I say it in a British accent. Oh, right, I forgot to mention that. All the characters I am playing are British. So yeah, there’s that, too.