Friday, April 27, 2012

Blanking


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

Every actor's nightmare on stage is to enter a scene and completely go blank. You don't remember your line. You don't remember the cue, you don't remember where you're supposed to go—hell, you only vaguely remember the play you're in. I've noticed that I've been blanking a lot when I walk into a room to get something. Suddenly, I realize that I haven't the remotest idea what I came in there for.

In the theater, on stage, fellow actors are there to save you by giving you prompts or whispering your line in an aside. But, in reality, when there's no one else in the room, you're on your own, pal. In the theater, on stage, you'll gradually gain focus by seeing a prop or recognizing the decor of the scene, which will spark your memory and bolt you right back into your role. In reality, the room you have entered without a clue looks the same as it always did—same props and decor—not a hint of a clue.

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In the theatre, on stage, you don't have a chance for a do-over—you've got to act and react. In my reality, I can retrace my steps to jog my memory. So, I return to the room I was in before I entered the room to get something that I forgot. Unfortunately, I still cannot recall the reason I went into the next room in the first place. What does one do?

My way is to pretend I'm on that stage, turn to the picture window in the living room, look outside to the "audience" and say, "Well, that's show business, ladies and gentlemen, I blew it. Thanks for coming! See you at the next blanking!

And, nice talking to you! G'night!




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