30 January 2010

It runs in the family*

It seems that the cat has a possible theater career ahead of him ...

Some friends and I started a tradition on Facebook called Foto Friday. The rules are pretty simple: take a picture on Friday and post it to your news feed and you're in! No pictures of, or pertaining to, the men's room are acceptable for Foto Friday. Anything else is generally fair game, although our offices do seem to figure in a pretty high percentage of the shots taken.

I wanted to take a non-office Friday Foto and I had a decent idea. I would take a picture of Pekoe and his (by the end of the workday) empty food bowl. So I brought the camera home from work and after the initial writhing through my legs to express his joy at my return, Peek and I headed into the kitchen. I took an establishing shot of the tragically empty bowl:

I then took a nice shot of Pekoe looking mournfully at me while standing next to the tragically empty bowl. The camera told me to change the batteries and shut itself off. Oh, well. Okay. I feed Pekoe and then went to the computer to download the images, but alas! The second shot didn't save because of the low battery.

New batteries were added to the camera and then Pekoe was informed that, as we had lost the original image, we would now need to recreate "Sad Pekoe at the Empty Food Bowl." So, to his obvious confusion, I picked up his food bowl and dumped all but a few crumbs of the contents back into the airtight plastic container that keeps the cat food reasonably fresh and reasonably unavailable to strew all over the kitchen.

I set the bowl down and like a trooper he resumed his previous position and looked up at me on cue.**

Note how he has arranged to show off his lovely green eyes to best effect, to minimize any "devil cat red eye," and yet to very clearly express "What's the with empty bowl? We feed cats here!"

And yet ... the director in me reviewed the shot (if Peek and I had been filming, I would have been "reviewing the dailies" or something like that) and decided that we needed one more take.

Pekoe had already wandered off to sniff and bat at things, two of his major occupations, but when summoned to the set, promptly hit his mark and was ready to go.

As can be clearly noted in the second shot The Artist built on his previous character choices for Starving Cat, adding in layers relating to his previous life as a stray. There is just a hint of the dichotomy between being grateful for being fed every day and fearing dependency on another for his basic needs.

I swear he takes direction better than some far more experienced human actors I've worked with.

All the material we needed was now safely in the can, as it were, so the food was replaced in the bowl and the The Artist was rewarded with a couple of Pounce.***

*Okay, just to clarify, I do not regard myself as Pekoe's "Mom." His staff, maybe, but not his mom. Or any other family member. But the title just seemed more euphonius than "It runs in the human/animal companionate relationship."

**The truly discerning (or truly anal, decide for yourself) will notice that the arragement of food particles lacks continuity from the establishing shot. I was working from memory. I did the best I could.

***Which is about as much as I been paid for theater in the past year, come to think of it.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

I'm not surprised Pekoe has picked up a few tips from his staff. Probably figured, "If I pretend to do what she asks, maybe she'll give me more food."

What actor gets paid to do community theater? If anything, we pay the respective companies (dues, insurance, whatever name they choose to give the emolument we contribute for the privilege of being on stage).