Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is what a theatre education feels like.

Most of the time when I tell people that I have a BA in Acting and Directing, they say "And how's that workin' for ya?" Actually, my college education taught me a lot of important things about life thankyouverymuch.

1. Vodka doesn't just get you drunk, it also works like scentless febreeze.

No seriously. Cheap-ass vodka... a little bit of water... stick in in a spray bottle, and you have yourself some home-made scentless febreeze. Theatres use it on the costumes between performances, because hot lights + lots of dancing and moving around = sweaty, smelly actors. And if you're doing a show that has like 10-15 performances and don't treat the costumes? They'll get pit stains and be really smelly. So, vodka!!

2. A little bit of cornstarch goes a long way.

Theatre makeup is cakey and heavy and melts easily. And yet, you never see makeup running down an actors face while they're onstage after a big dance number. Know why? We use this translucent powder over our makeup that keeps it on. It's basically cornstarch. It also works WONDERS on lipstick. Put on lip stick... separate the plys on a tissue... put tissue over the mouth... brush on the powder... put lipstick back on. Works.

3. Condoms: Not just for sex.

Every theatre I've ever done shows at has put the body mic into a jumbo unlubricated condom before it is attached to the actor. Even at my CATHOLIC high school. When we got a new principal my junior year, he wanted to be very involved in the drama club. He reviewed all of our receipts. Including the ones for multiple backs of jumbo unlubricated condoms. He totally lost his shit at our director when the sound guy calmly went up to him with a mic and said, "Excuse me, Father, but we use the condoms to go over the mic packs since they cost $600 each and if they get wet from sweat, they'll break. Unless you want to buy us new mics after every show?"

4. Brandy doesn't just get you drunk.

Brandy is actually excellent for the vocal chords. A shot of brandy before singing is actually great when you have a sore throat. It also calms you down a bit. That's also why you can use brandy in a hot toddy. And if that doesn't work, cortizone shots in the back of the neck will do just fine.

5. Push-ups: Not just for working out.

I had an acting teacher who is one of my favorite people in the world. And she used to use push-ups as a technique for getting people energized. Getting them pumped. Jumping jacks does the same thing. Have a job interview? Feel like shit? Do 10 jumping jacks... you'll wake up, have energy, and your voice will be more clear because you're awake now. I've actually made a client do jumping jacks in the voice studio because A. he was pissing me off and B. he sounded DEPRESSED. DE-PRESSED. I don't want to invest with you if you sound depressed, guy.

But the one thing that I learned with my theatre degree that you really can't apply anywhere else...

Crying in acting class ALWAYS guarantees an A. Always.

1 comment:

Joanie M said...

Can you still cry on demand? Took me a few years to figure that one out.