Monday, January 23, 2012

Typing the Night Away

Sometimes theatre just plain blows. We all look to ourselves to try and figure out what we did wrong. When we did nothing wrong. Except for we didn't fit the type. I went to Goodspeed call for Carousel. Which I thought I would type into. Like I thought I would type into their production of Mame. Which is frustrating. I can't seem to shake it today. Despite the sunny weather. (45 is warm enough for tights and sundresses with sweaters after weather in the single digits)
Types are like the actor version of field positions. Instead of third base men, you're a leading man. Or an ingenue. I'm a character actor. Which means the bulk of my work will be when I have some age on me. As one of my college profs told me "You're going to play a lot of mothers." I can narrow that down to bad mothers. The Lucille Bluths of the world. But what do I do until then?
I was also told "young and spunkey" by another prof. Yet another said "goofy and not so bright sluts." The typing that made me laugh hysterically was after I first bobbed my hair. 'Femme Fatale." Really? Try talking to me and that all goes out the window. Way too southern and way too used to using comedy to deal with pain. (My family has had some hardcore Tennessee Williams moments, but we treat them more Tracy Letts. With a laugh. "Eat the fish, bitch!")
My type still defies. Except that no one is really sure. I'm a shoe in for anything English and period. If they are looking for comedic tavern wenches, even better!
One of the games we played in college to try and come up with more specific types was to list actors that you brought to mind. I kept my list up to date for a while, but since a large majority of them were movie actors, it's harder to transfer to stage. My list is comedic in it's variety.
Ones that make sense to me- Carrie Ann Moss, Nina Vardalos, Jenifer Gray, Bebe Neuwirth, Leslie Carron, Debbie Reynolds, Bettie Davis, Mary Stuart Masterson, Catherine O'Hara, Joan Crawford, Julie Andrews, Jessica Walter, Greta Garbo, Parker Posey, Joan Cusack, Claudette Colbert, Kat Dennings, Chita Rivera, Lotte Lenya, Ruby Keeler (I wanna be Peggy Sawyer!), Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Loretta Switt
The chick flickers- Zooey Deschanel, Meg Ryan, Lisa Kudrow, Drew Barrymore
The extreme WTFs- Uma Thurman, Mariska Hargitay, Angelina Jolie
What does this tell me? I do not know. It's pretty darn confused. Just like me!
So far roles I've really loved that I fit include:
Ditzy, overwhelmed starstuck gold digger circa 1923
Bitchy child star with dreams beyond her mother's
Drunken flapper with odd taste in jewelry and great extension
Clumsy hooker with flowers on her cowboy boots and a heart of gold
Dorkey Jewish girl with a taste for dorkey Russian boys
Plus a few weird friends, floozey dancers, and crazy moms (things you do in college and college only in your 20s).
God only knows what this all means, what waits for me next, or what my type may prove to be. This helped me shake off my frustration (hurrah!). Now to make dinner. I will continue to defy types and make a living! Take that world. :p
Love her! So glad she is on my wacky list. :-) (Claudette Colbert in "The Palm Beach Story" which is hysterical!)


  1. I just always remember you in my mom's play in middle school... something about Sunshine Nellie... You were wonderful in that! You nailed that "type".

  2. I enjoyed playing the feather brained little kid. And your mom was amazing in getting me to be as fabulously goofy as possible! Though it was a lot of just being myself.... :-)