Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last night I experienced for the first time the actor's nightmare. I was in the middle of a short speech, feigning hot temper, when suddenly I did not know what I was supposed to say next. I panicked and stalled even more strongly. My fellow actors could not help me as they badly needed the cue at the end of my line. The one I could not remember. The woman playing my wife laughed and said, "Well I guess I've got you there". I laughed too, really faking it and said "I guess you have". Then I remembered a later line and they were thrown. Some friends in the audience said they did not notice. Either they were being kind, or, because it came in the middle of a quarrel, it was not so noticeable. I've dreamed that I was on stage and I did not know what I was supposed to do, but now it has happened. Another actress said"It happens, but then you're still alive, it hasn't harmed you". Perhaps I was right to give up acting ten years ago when I still had a suitable brain.


Hels said...

No it hasn't really harmed you, but it certainly doesn't make you feel wonderful either. And it doesn't help one iota to know that every single person in the world who performs in public, in all fields of endeavour, fears the same thing.

I was once (in 1995) giving a lecture on a topic I knew very well indeed. The lecture room was full of students and for the first 35 minutes, I was in full flow. Then I froze! I didn't know a single word to say and after 10 hideous minutes of silence, all the students left.

It has only happened once and that was 15 years ago. But it was enough to show that even well prepared lectures need good written notes. What your lesson might be, I don't know - having a prompter never to leave you standing alone again?

We are but human.

marc aurel said...

Your ghastly story is a great comfort! I was quite frightened again last night and spoilt what I thought had been quite a good performance by checking every line before I said it, but I got through it without mistakes, climbing back on the horse that had thrown me, as it were. Only two more nights of this torment left!

willow said...

I'll have to admit, I never would have guessed your real name. Great cover, "Marc"! Kudos to you for "Hay Fever". I would have loved to have seen the show. Love the pic on the theater site.

marc aurel said...

The ever resourceful willow. Perhaps now you could tell us your Twitter name?

willow said...

My twitter name is wwwillow, Marc. I know, it doesn't give you much of a clue as to my real name, does it?