This weekend is flying by. Fortunately, I don't really have to work much this week. Yesterday I spent the better part of the day working on my monologues and it was rather exhausting. Then I went to see Gangs of New York last night and was completely disillusioned, once again, by Hollywood's completely warped priorities. Daniel Day Lewis was amazing and Cameron Diaz was also quite good, but if it hadn't been for them, the movie would have been completely unwatchable. Only about 45 minutes of the 3 hour movie was at all dramatically compelling but even that got lost in all the scenery and crap that they spent billions of dollars on in order to make this grand sweeping epic - none of it was anything that people care about. The story took a back seat to the scenery and they could have told the story twice as well with half the cast, half the money in half the time.
J and I spent the first part of this morning talking about that over breakfast and then set to work on the Memory of Water monologue. He still struggles with the fact that it's an overly dramatic character, but at the same time really likes the piece. There's a fine line between the actress being presentational and the actress being truthful in playing a presentational, or melodramatic, character. I need to make sure I'm always doing the latter. But it's quite true that there are plenty of people out there who are over-dramatic like that and she's definitely one of them. We got a lot of really good work done, though. It's a tricky piece but a good one.
We're meeting again on Thursday, so I have several days I can practice between now and then. Next time we'll be going over all three I've worked on so far, and start working on the final one, the Helena monologue from All's Well that Ends Well. I can't help but start to have second thoughts about my choices of monologues, though. I guess it's sort of like getting cold feet. The Brilliant Traces monologue can be very good and very powerful, but it is climactic, which is something URTA advises againt. On the other hand, DePaul puts Brilliant Traces on its list of good plays to pull monologues from. I like the monologue, but in a way I feel like it's dangerous, if that makes any sense. That's really the only one that I feel nervous about - and probably because it requires so much emotion right out of the gate. I don't know. I have very mixed emotions about the whole thing right now. I'm irritated that in looking for other monologues to work on to have ready "just in case" I'm finding other stuff that I really like and might have considered for on the the two primary pieces had I found them earlier. And if I do work them up and show them to J, if by some chance one of two of those ends up being stronger that the ones I've been working on with him, then what do I do? I assume he would be honest with me about it and perhaps give me a little time to flesh it out and see if I might possibly substitute it. But at the same time I know a lot of this is nerves and in a way it parallels my relationship commitment problems. If I can't even commit to doing a damn monologue, of course I couldn't commit to a relationship! Sometimes I treat monologues the same way I treat men. I'm an interesting case, for sure. I find these monologues that I love to start with but I think I fail to really recognize what's so great about them other than the fact that I'm simply drawn to them. And when the initial attraction has worn off, I've grown tired of them because I haven't really stopped to look at what's so wonderful about the pieces. The same thing with men.... huh. I think I just had what somebody, probably Oprah, calls one of those lightbulb moments. Ding! But, I digress. One thing's for sure: if I'm going to do that Brilliant Traces monologue I've just got to know that I'm doing it and really commit to it. And that goes for all of them. One of the reasons I probably feel this way about that one is because I've been working on it the longest. It's like a boyfriend I'm tired of. When I came back to it yesterday after a two or three week break it was new and exciting again. But I know if I beat it to death that will wear away again. I'll lose the painting, like that guy says in that monologue from Six Degrees of Separation. So maybe a lesson learned here is that there is such a thing as working on something too long. Or maybe not too long, but too hard and too long. Eventually you grow tired of it, you push it and it's no longer fresh. It gets stale. Like Gangs of New York. Martin Scorsese was conceiving that for 25 years and look at the boring 3 hours that came out of it. So it's good to walk away from it for awhile and then go back. This week I'm going to start practice Memory of Water and start of the next Shakespeare and maybe work up a few of the others. That will be fun I think. Maybe some day I should write a book about all this. Although, most of this is probably just common sense that most people intuitively know and I just don't because I always make things harder than they should be.