I Admit It, I Love The Sound Of My Own Voice
I could say that it’s because I was a teacher or a performer but the simple fact of the matter is that I recently made a discovery that isn’t all that surprising. I admit it, I love the sound of my own voice – Don’t Get Me Started!
The time I spent in theatre culminated in me directing and choreographing. I remember loving giving everyone “notes” after a rehearsal. They were all exhausted from having just done run through after run through of a number or show and then it was my time to go through each scene or number and give detailed notes to make it better. “Stage left is way too far stage left in the spacing in the Charleston section of that number. God gave you peripheral vision people, how about using it?” I always tried to temper my criticism with some sarcasm and something a little funny so that people might better remember the notes I was giving them. I had sat through enough director or choreographer’s notes sessions to know that performers really only want to be told they’re perfect and that they can go home and soak their feet, the last thing they want at the end of a rehearsal is to hear someone go on and on about everything they’ve done wrong. As a performer you always looked at how many pages they had in their hand as they started their notes as it would give you an idea how long you would be there. But you couldn’t really tell until they got to the end of the first page. If they had used the back side of each piece of paper too you might as well settle in for a long winter’s nap. Still as a director, choreographer, teacher, party guest there’s something about a captive audience that has always appealed to me.
I think that’s why I’m so good at a party. I have interesting anecdotes from my theatre days as well as my corporate experiences that never cease to amuse those who know me and those who’ve just met me but recently I’ve begun to wonder if I have become the dreaded old person that really is just talking to hear themselves talk. If an actor was so into a scene but it wasn’t playing past the first row in the theatre I used to call it “artistic masturbation” after all, just like masturbation the actor was the only one getting anything out of it, right? Well I began to think that not only my talking but my blog may be my own version of artistic masturbation. True, no one has to be forced to read the blog (and don’t I know it from the number of people who visit it each day) but at a dinner party if you’re sitting next to me you just might be stuck hearing the entire story about the time I was under a couch for the start of Act Two in a show and about five minutes in, right before I was to make my shocking entrance from underneath the sofa I heard a thud only to find out that the actor who had been speaking had a heart attack and fell to the floor. He lived and it makes a great story. (Be aware that there is much more when telling this story and it has lots of arm gestures)
I remember once working with an older famous actor and when the director would tell him to do anything we were forced to listen to story after story about it. “I remember the first time I was told to move stage right. I was working in Summer Stock and there were several people you might know in the cast, allow me to list them…” On and on he would go and while the first few rehearsals we found the stories amusing, by the fourth rehearsal I know we were all thinking, “Just move stage right you God Damned old coot and shut it.”
Look, I’m not saying I hit every time but I like to think that I tell a good tale. The flipside to that is that I also find that I have less and less patience for anyone else taking too long to tell their story. And while I’d like to think that I’m looking at the people I’m speaking to in order to see if they’re rolling their eyes in boredom or trying to get away from me, I can’t help but think sometimes I just don’t care. Sometimes I’m just doing my act and indulging in a little artistic masturbation. I admit it, I love the sound of my own voice – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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