Friday, October 13, 2006

Solo Shows

I perform a solo show written by Rosanna Alfaro-- Martha Mitchell: somebody book me, please!-- and I've written a couple (one on commission, Unbinding Our Lives, about Chinese-American immigrant women, which I enjoyed researching and writing very much; and one about a teen who loves Shakespeare). But I, too, dislike them, and as much as I love to perform, I can't bring myself to construct one for my actor self. What I love most about theatre is the unique and godlike ability it provides the spectator to understand the communal implications of an action instantly and intimately; to be in everybody's shoes at the same time. I love to watch the faces and bodies of the actors in the scene who aren't talking. I swear that (if they are really acting) they communicate telepathically! Unlike life, where one's attention is drawn by one's own interest, or by the loudest or most powerful person in the room, good theatre creates empathy that encompasses everything on stage, and by implication everything in life. It frees us from the prison of our own egos. Too often, the solo show traps us in somebody else's ego-- the author's, the character's, or the virtuoso performer's.

On Oct 12, 2006,A wrote:
solo performers are kind of the elite special forces of the theatrical army.
They bravely step out in front of an audience, look them in the eye and say, "It's just me, nobody else, and I am going to hold your attention for next hour or so."

Yeah. I run into people like that all the time in real life-- and run away as soon as I can.

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