Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Night

It's Friday night and life is good. I received a big box of CD's from Ayn Rand Bookstore. One of the nice things about being single is that I can spend $650 on Objectivist lectures without having a wife scream at me, "Are you f**king insane?! $650 on recordings of people talking?" Hey, it's my money; I spend it how I want. (Might have lost my PG-13 rating with this paragraph.)

I have begun listening to Ben Bayer's Understanding 20th-Century Philosophy: The Case of Quine, Robert Mayhew's Descarte's Meditations and Andrew Lewis's The History of England (part 2), 1215-1341. All three men are entertaining and sound teachers. Lewis avoids the modern historian's fault of miring himself in concretes; instead he induces important trends from the concretes.

Rehearsals for Cyrano are going well. The director got my confidence with the first direction he gave me during callbacks. He had seen me play Falstaff in Merry Wives and he said, "You have to lose Falstaff entirely. Falstaff is earthy; Ragueneau is all air." I found that direction quite helpful. Since then I have worked on keeping my voice in the upper register, I've adjusted my center of gravity and worked on graceful, balletic hand movements. Ragueneau is a poet, a pastry chef, an idealist, a hero-worshipper and an optimist. He is also very emotional, which is good because emotion and energy are among my strong points as an actor.

I'm reading Watership Down. It's a novel about rabbits. Talking rabbits. Like Bugs Bunny, but serious. These are some serious rabbits. I'll write a review when I'm done. I have a few observations that I have not seen anywhere else. I will also try to finish my review of the plays of Roswitha, although entering that medieval chamber of horrors is no treat.

My play in verse, The Lost Princess, set in ancient Greece, is going well. I'm into Act II now. Like the playwrights of the English Renaissance, I switch back and forth between poetry and prose. I find myself writing the heroine Apollonia's scenes in prose, and she comes off rather Shavian: witty, emancipated, vivacious -- an archetype of feminine vitality, like Carole Lombard or maybe a young Katherine Hepburn. Garbo was too stolid to play this character; you need a mercurial actress who can flash into passion mid-sentence. The ultimate character in this vein, Rosalind in As You Like It, also speaks mostly prose.

I follow Ayn Rand's advice and write about characters I enjoy contemplating. It helps motivate me to write.


Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I could easily read Watership Down again.

Jennifer Snow said...

Wow, it's been a long time since I read Watership Down. I should almost read it again, because my memories of it are kind of bizarre . . . it was very similar to the Aenead, actually.