I'll be honest, up until college I got 2 movies mixed up on numerous an occasion: Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias. I can't exactly explain why either. I'll blame it on the similar movie posters: A gaggle of talented women of all ages posing mid-laugh at about the same time period. You have to admit...
|(did they photoshop darryl hannah into this poster?)|
And since I hadn't seen either but knew there was a reference to tomatoes in both, you can see my confusion. So in a way, until I read the script for Steel Magnolias as a freshman in college, I thought Julia Roberts was Mary-Louise Parker. Shameful I know. I KNOW. However. That beautifully-crafted, quick-witted, heart-breaking, strong-women script made it's way into my mind and since then, I've been itching for a crack at it.
Cut to this month post-random-show-up-more-for-fun-and-practice-than-anything-at-an-audition-at-The-Texas-Theatre and I've somehow managed to snag the part of Mary-Louise Parker...I mean Pretty Woman...I mean Shelby. The script I had been itching for was back. And I'm here to tell ya. It's not an easy thing to sit through without bawl'in. Or cackl'in.
Here's what I realized. I haven't done a real real real stage show since Spring 2010. That's 2 years of nothing but learning 4 pages of changed dialog the night before you shoot a car chase scene where an alien bites you. Don't read me wrong, I love film. Being on a film set is where I have felt the most calm over the last 2 years. But I've missed the element of live theater. There is nothing like it...and we're still a month away from an audience. As a character who goes through 4 entirely different, long acts basically, of ENTIRELY different relations with someone as close as her mother, all in the confines of a beauty salon, this is proving to be a tough one. Each black out of Steel Magnolias represents more than just a shift in the seasons, it symbolizes a huge change in the lives of these women. That's what I want an audience to take away. That that which is pulled off on-screen in blockbuster hit after blockbuster hit after indie film after indie film, can be pulled off on a stage. Practically a community theatre stage at that.
It's a challenge. But the first challenge is mastering this conversational dialog where you don't want to miss or even drop half a line. So onto learning the entire script as Ken first taught me! Then let's get down and dirty and tackle the meaty stuff. Like kidney failures and dialysis-es-icity and saying "Owen Jenkins" and not "Owen Wilson." (Or hope that you're in the audience when I do make that slip up...it will happen.) Show runs the last 2 weekends of October at The Texas Theatre. These ladies are breaking my heart left and right every night at rehearsals...and we're still carry'in our scripts around.
Also worth noting that I'm not the typical ingenue type. I get called in for those commercial roles where you get to create a silly voice or be the pretty girl's sidekick best friend. And I'm COMPLETELY okay with that. I prefer it in fact. However, the last 2 big projects I've worked on, including tackling the beloved Shelby, ingenue-ity is something I've had to embrace. It's a difficult shift in thinking when preparing for a role as well as being on set (or in rehearsals). Things are more on your shoulders. Less improv and goofiness is acceptable. But ya get more meat. Or cabbage depending on your dietary preference.
Check out the fun project that just received some love from FunnyOrDie.com!! What?? Comic Con here we come! Watch it here.
peace. love. and 30 minutes of wonderful.
Grab your tickets to see these other ladies just kill it on stage by calling 830.372.6168. Do not miss them!!