Thursday, December 11, 2008

THE HAPPY ELF: live theater

By young performer Madison Kitchen who plays Molly in Harry Connick, Jr.'s THE HAPPY ELF

Go see a movie, any movie. Each scene in that movie was done countless times. If a movie actor makes a mistake, the director shoots it over until it is perfect; those perfect scenes are the ones you see. Go see a live show, any one. Anything can happen; the performers only have one chance to show the people in the audience what they can do.

If you go see a movie again, nothing will change. You may notice something you didn’t notice before, but the line delivery and character interactions are exactly the same. Go see a live show again, and you will see things that have changed. Some may be conscious choices, but many are unexpected mistakes.

Not everything on stage always goes according to plan, and we found this out this past week. We had actors cutting themselves on the set and dripping blood everywhere, props going MIA, lines being forgotten, and sound cues getting missed (to name a few!).

In a recent performance, Jared Gertner (Eubie) was sick and another cast member, Paul Helm (Security Elf, Bert, Ensemble) filled in. Paul did an excellent job! It was interesting, though, because we were all so used to the way Jared delivered his lines and reacted to certain cues; we had to completely readjust to the way Paul did things. It was a great experience for all of the actors because we learned that we need to be ready to play off of the many surprises we encounter in every show.

No comments: