Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Funny Food for Thought

A few years ago my coach, VP Boyle, told me to dive into comedy and watch everything I could on this art form since I seemed to have a knack for it. This came as somewhat a surprise because I'd come from a strong dramatic background, having played everything from Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker to Agnes of God. But I also played Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and Gooch in MAME, so the fire was always there.

Now I feel like a comedy archeologist! Delighting in that great freedom of spirit, that fearless sense of "going for it," the bouyancy, the timing and quick-thinking, enjoying the work that has been coming my way.

The last show I did, Kaboom, was a fast-paced physical farce, and it was so cool to talk with my director, BT McNicholl, about some of the founding fathers of physical comedy like Buster Keaton and The Marx Brothers. Can you just imagine them signing the Declaration of Indepence?

Now I'm in the midst of Johnny On a Spot Off Broadway, which crackles with that 1940's fire. And I'm keeping my eyes open, devouring everything I can, enjoying the music of comedy.

I saw the 1939 film, The Women last night on the Turner Classic Movie channel and was amazed at the diversity of the piece. From Rosalind Russell's His Girl Friday firecracker delivery to Paulette Goddard's winking bad girl who aids Norma Shearer's heart-breaking phoenix.... what great stuff!

And of course I'm watching Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, these ground-breakingly gifted comediennes. Their recent Palin/Clinton parody on Saturday Night Live was brilliant!

Endless food for thought!

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