22 November 2005

The Moral Turpitude Hat Trick

(Posted with Richard's kind permission. Because he thinks no one reads this or because he thinks I won't really post it, I dunno. Either way, he's wrong.) (Hi, Richard!)

Okay, so dedicated readers will remember that one of the interesting aspects of The Emperor's New Clothes was that it was finally brought nudity to the children's theater.

So, hey-ho, away we go, the show got cast, we had rehearsals, lots of fun was had, et and cetera. As we got closer to opening, I was zeroing in on breaking people of doing things that would prevent this from being the finest children's show ever. Kori needed to talk slower, Julie needed to stop shifting from foot-to-foot, stuff like that. Nothing major, just the usual clean up that you have to do. And Richard needed to be bigger.

Some actors are ... economical ... with their gestures and voices and for this show, I needed large, clean gestures and big voices. Which Richard resisted because he is not as naturally loud and extroverted as, say, I am. (Many, many, many people are not naturally as loud and extroverted as I am.) So I would tell Richard that I needed him to be bigger, and he would nod and file those statements away along with the other things that directors say.

As we got close to opening, I got more and more motivated to get a bigger performance from Richard, so during notes after a Tech Week rehearsal I told him that if at any time he went over the top in a performance, I would give him a dollar. Ritzya - who apparently had signed on to be Richard's manager - immediately asked if that was per performance or for the whole run. Per performance. Folks chuckled and Richard filed that away with the things that directors say.

(Ritzya, by the way, never needs to be told to be bigger. She goes over the top so often that she has a condo there. For which I was grateful more than once. White girl got jump.)

So I was giving the cast a little pep talk before the first performance and I took a dollar out of my pocket and showed it to Richard. "Meet the Ritzya standard, and this is yours." He nodded. Then I folded it up and stuck it in my bra. And, you know, one could actually feel him focus. And he said, "Okay, now I'm motivated." "Earn the dollar, Richard."

And several times he did. And I was delighted to be able to fish that dollar out and present it to him in front of the whole cast. In fact, at the cast party, I gave everyone a dollar for something great that they did during the run. But all those dollars came out of my pocket. Richard's was the only one tucked securely into my lingerie. Which meant, of course, that when dressing for the children's show, I had to wear something low-cut enough to allow me retrieve a dollar with any kind of grace.

So. I've directed my first children's show. And even though it didn't have a guy in a beard wearing a Big Pink Fluffy Skirt with Matching Hair Thing, it did have nudity, sex, bribery, and corruption. It was sort of like working at a strip club for minors.

Next time I'll see if I can work in the F word.


David Gorsline said...

Dear Readers, before you raise a hue and cry: Leta is exaggerating for comic effect. Richard was not really nude—he wore custom-made skivvies with a nautical theme. The only sex that took place was in Richard's imagination, and it involved my girlfriend who has achieved her majority. And the only thing corrupted was the principles of the American theater.

MacDurk said...

I must thank Leta for so effectively incentivizing me to be far more expressive in my dramatic presentations than is my natural tendency, and also thank David for being so understanding. In truth, I saw no more than one would see on a typical beach in North America (as opposed to Brazil), but a man can dream, can't he? As to my regal attire, it was Sponge Bob pantaloons and shirt, which the kids and I enjoyed - I saved them for evening wear. And I still have the two dollars that I earned for performing "over the top" - they have found a special place in my wallet. I look forward to performing "another magnificent theatrical extravaganza" or two with Leta and company in the future.... Richard

Casey Jones said...

So, essentially what happened here is, Richard went over the top, and the dollar came from Leta's? Okay, got it.

Sounds like you're having a blast. Rock on.