Monday, February 28, 2005

Second Show Weekend Part Two: Family Laughs

As far as I was concerned, Saturday's show was perfect. Not because lines were delivered perfectly (which they ALMOST were), but because I made my way through the entire show without cracking up once. Now, you may ask...do I lose it often on stage and slip out of character? The answer is no, but specific events can lead to a breaking of the fourth wall from time to time, and all of the criteria for those events were present.

You see, a large contingent were there for me personally. 22 people, to be exact. Within that crowd were my Grandmother Salmon and my wife...the only two people to ever make me crack up on stage. What causes it? Their laughter. My grandmother has one of those laughs that are just hilarious and frightening at the same time, when tied in with a nasty case of smokers cough she can go on for minutes. Her sense of timing can be off too. So here I am, in one of the moments on stage that are not funny...I'm going through a quiet dramatic moment and showing intense thought and emotion, and my grandmother is laughing at the facial expressions I'm going through, which causes Melanie to laugh as well.

Woah. The amount I had to fight to keep my concentration onstage was incredible. For as I know, if I let their laughter catch me offguard I will smirk. That smirk will then become a grin. Finally the grin causes laughter. I couldn't let myself do that again. It happened during The Affections Of May on closing night, and though I wasn't the only one and the audience were forgiving I hated doing that. I mean, I'm not anal or anything, it did and does feel good to laugh on stage, but I do have a certain amount of pride as an actor and it's just wrong to break character like that.

So, making it all the way through was somewhat of a triumph for me. If you were there, you'd understand just how much of a triumph that was.

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