Jim's Richard III Blog

What had started as a blog of Richard III rehearsal process at Cal Shakes has now evolved or devolved into a small novella. The author is petrified to change the name for fear it'll disappear, and wouldn't know what to call it anyway. Many stories are included and questions are even answered sometimes!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Our Cast of Characters

Here's our cast, most pulled from the area, some actors some not but a good bunch of people.

Rob-Plays Garganta, the most horrifying beast of darkest Borneo. He is of course one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and wears that suit without complaint. Rob works at the local paper and seems a pretty damn fine actor--kind of a shame that he's playing a gorilla, but he's a pro about it. I thank the fates that he's not a method actor. That could be weird.

Jody-Our all around man; he not only works on the set painting, and building but also plays Mr. Hillbilly, a cop, an exterminator, and stagehand. Jody somehow finds the time to have a job at the video store and looks really tired a lot of the time.

Sara-The token Brit; Tall blond and tanned she's a former model who now rides horses in competition, and has turned her seemingly inexhaustible energies to this show, but she really wants to race cars professionally. She plays one of the Doo-wop girls and Madame Draculana, famous vampire and drinker of warm human blood.

Donna-Riders 60-ish stepmother, magnificently white haired and trim, she was invited along for the ride after his wife dropped out. Initially kind of tentative amongst the rest of the Doo-wop girls who are younger and have a wee bit more movement training, she's now shaking her thang with gusto and having fun.

Brandon-Does double duty as Hankenstein and the Graveyard Devil. A graphic designer, I think--he's almost 7' tall and is just the nicest guy you'll ever meet. He's fascinated by the process of putting a play together and things we find ordinary are to him new and wonderful. Quite sweet. I've volunteered to be fight captain and have coached him and the children how to abduct and be abducted with safety--his GD costume is huge and clumsy and he has to come off the stage, grab two of the kids we have planted in the audience, carry them one under each arm, back up the stairs and offstage. He has yet to receive his other costume................

Dania-One of the Producers, Rider's assistant, and one of the Doo-Wop girls. Actually a Journalist by trade this job fell into her lap during a lull and she wears so many hats it's hard to count them. Always pleasant and funny she's been a great help to us all.

Ardriane-About 7 or so years old, she had a tendency to holler "It's ARDRIANE!" at me when I mispronounced her name--until I asked her if she knew what MY name was.......the next day I was greeted quite pointedly as JIM. She's smart and sweet.

Errol-Rider's son about 8 years old; Errol is our stooge boy--I get to hypnotize him and he does the Sacred Voodoo Death Dance of the Living Dead shaking his butt liberally at the audience which has got to be a lot of fun for just about any kid. He's a sharpie. I also find he loves old Mexican Monster movies.

Lydia-Our former Assistant Stage Manager now made Stage Manager, since our former SM had her child last week and is out of the show for good. Lydia took over a bit late in the game but has been instrumental helping the process attain some sort of order and plan. She's a pretty damn good singer and dancer in her own right and has all the dances down better than most of us. She's still playing catch up on all the script changes, trying to keep pace with the scenery that's been cut and just generally trying to stay on top of this thing. She's a Godsend.

Mr. X-I will not give this persons name, but I suppose anyone who reads this and knows him can figure it out quickly enough. He's been a major pain in the ass from day one, selfish, aggressive, a constant victim in life and has only recently altered his behavior due most probably to a discussion with the director which might have run something like this: "Listen here X, I've about had it with you, so now here's the deal."

If you don't shut up I will fire you.
If you come late again I will fire you.
If you don't learn your lines correctly I will fire you.
If you yell at the other actors again I will fire you.
If you don't stop giving other actors advice I will fire you.
If you don't stop ad libbing during others lines I will fire you.
If you don't stop asking pointless questions while we're working I will fire you.
If you don't stop using others props for your scenes I will fire you.
If you keep playing your character as a Southern Queen I will fire you.
If you don't take a bath and brush your teeth the other actors will strangle you.
And I will let them.

It must have taken something at least that strongly worded and specific for this character as he's barely said a word the last two days. A huge relief--every rehearsal we dealt with the "Mr. X Factor"; we'll see if it lasts and if he doesn't wind up doing what he damn well wants to do in performance.

Rudy-Plays Teddy Corn and is in civilian life well known for his Rockabilly music; we heard a sample of it last week and he's damn good! Rudy is about 74 and was in a car accident last year, rear-ended by a semi truck, and is still suffering from nerve damage due to whiplash. His hands are swollen and he hasn't been able to play his guitar for a year which kills him, but he's incredibly cheerful and the only times I know he's hurting is when he'll step off a curb and I'll hear a sharp intake of breath. I've taught him some stretching and warm up exercises for his forearms, wrists and hands and I see him assiduously practicing these throughout rehearsal. I've done a little massage work on him myself and Rider has generously been taking him to his own chiropractor for body work and the swelling has reduced some. I give Rudy a ride to the motel most nights after rehearsal and have discovered something about him.

Rudy is in love with my car. As we were approaching it one night he stopped, leaned back, took a long, slow look and said: "Damn Jim, that's a purty car!" as if he'd just seen it, just realized what a gorgeous automobile it was. My car is a Hyundai. A very pretty blue Hyundai mind you, but a Hyundai nonetheless. But in Rudy's eyes it's every bit as good as a Mercedes and now he rarely fails to remark on it. And it's curious that now, when I drive him to the motel, I feel I'm driving a vehicle much more luxurious--I feel richer somehow.


Blogger joy said...

jim carpenter!

i've enjoyed reading your zombie scream party adventures. HOW i wish i could come see you and sam in the show. big love from the midwest.

April 7, 2008 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger James Carpenter said...

Joy! Hey I'm sorry I missed your goodbye party--and no don't be sorry you can't see the show. How's the job? are you loving it? JC

April 9, 2008 at 1:31 PM  

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