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Sunday, September 21, 2008

you want me to do what?!?!

     I firmly believe that people were never meant to stand completely still.  Especially when you throw 3 inch heels into the equation.  Yes, people are meant to run, dance, sing, talk, laugh, walk, sit, lay down, climb, swim, be quiet, even...do it all, really, but stand still. Frozen.  Not swaying.  Not fixing your costume. Not yawning. Not cracking your knuckles.  Not folding your arms.  Not shifting your weight.  Not scratching that itch on your nose that only just became unbearable the moment you couldn't move...


   I have this reputation in the cast as somebody who fidgets.  And it's kind of true: I have a very hard time not moving.  Colt, who plays Al in the show, tells me that I move all the time (which can't be altogether true, because I would be much happier if I were moving all the time).  Even Drew, when he saw the show, told me that I did move a lot (only after, of course, he told me how great I was...).  I told him that it is just not natural to stand so still and his reply was that it is not natural to break out in song in the middle of a conversation, but I do that on stage with no problem.  Huh.  

   Back when we were rehearsing on 42nd street, our choreographer Baayork Lee would have us all lay down on the floor and be perfectly still while the pianist played through the song, At the Ballet.  This was to "practice" for when most of us are standing still upstage while our fellow actors are singing that ballad.  Well, inevitably, I would become uncomfortable or develop this insatiable itch that just could not wait, and after moving just slightly, would hear, Don't move, Kristine...in Baayork's sing-song voice.  

   And the cast caught on.  Now certain members will say the same to me, trying their darnedest to replicate that sweet, but firm voice...

   And just tonight, I got one note from our wonderful dance captain. I bet you can all figure it out, but yes, it was that I was swaying too much during What I did for Love. Just beautiful. Diana is singing her heart out, bringing home the precarious yet passionate position every performing artist finds themselves in, and Kristine is doing some sort of hippie-sway in the background.  Maybe I can get permission to use a lighter.  

   Or maybe I can just, for once, stand still.  I mean, I guess it is my job.

    But I still don't think it's natural.  

11 comments:

Mom said...

Whenever we would go shopping together when you were a child--especially in the grocery store--you would dance down the aisles. I thought it was cool....

Peaj said...

No, it isn't natural.

But it is kind of cool when a dance is happening in the foreground and it looks like it is only happening in the mind of the person dancing because all the people in the background are unnaturally frozen. Like time stopped for them.

You and the cast should practice by playing freeze tag.

kathiek said...

Jess, I am RARELY still...something is always moving...I empathize. Unfortunately, I have no tips to share, I have never been required to be absolutely still.

Branks said...

I'm not gonna lie, standing next to you in living newspapers- I noticed it too! But it was cute, I thought. I think you should tell Baayork that I like it. And then you'll stop getting notes. Right?

jason said...

I get this crazy leg thing going on when I have to sit for long periods of time. And if you remember, I'd rather stand and walk while eating than sit down. So yeah, I think I understand it.

Jessica Latshaw said...

lol, Bree! I guess it's been going on for a while, then!

And Jase, of course I remember [correctly, you forgot to add "correctly!]! Who can forget everybody but you sitting at the dinner table, hearing the sound of your back rub against the wall as you swayed back and forth and ate your dinner standing up...We couldn't tell if you were super creative, or just super strange.

Luckily, it turned out to be the former.

Jessica Latshaw said...

ANd mom-Drew gets embarrassed when I dance down the aisles now!

Peaj--you are right--stillness can be very effective in dance, or drama, actually

Kathie--thanks for the empathy--I'll take it!

jason said...

Was it really cold enough to warrant Drew's fisherman wool hat or was he just looking to fit in with the locals!?

He looks like the guy on the fishsticks box.

Jessica Latshaw said...

It really was pretty cold--especially on the ferry. The hat was warranted, the fact that he ft in with the locals while wearing it was just an added bonus.

jason said...

Argh why did I post this comment here? I look insane.

Jessica Latshaw said...

yep, crazy as all get-out.