This Well Thumbed instalment is nothing more nor less than one actor’s idiosyncratic rumination (self-obsessed or what?) on the explorative nature of finding a character in rehearsal.
Or, to put the headline other ways, which bit of him isn’t me? Which is the walrus and which is the whale and where does that leave the carpenter?
It’s a conundrum of sorts (with apparently random pop-culture references).
I researched, wrote and will play in Well Thumbed – of that much I can be blogging certain – but, now, the rehearsal process is messing with my head.
Getting into the performing of Well Thumbed’s Librarian and, inevitably, it’s beginning to get complicated. Always happens. According to my (official) version of the Librarian’s back story, he’s the one – not me – who researched, wrote and is performing Well Thumbed. But I am & am not the Librarian. There’s more to me than him. I am me. Maybe meta-me. It’s got complicated.
Not to worry. Performance uncertainty is a default that Equity members get with their actory settings.
Stop reading now! These random jottings can get no better than that world class pun.
Sorry, this fractured logic echoes the process of exploration and discovery in my world of rehearsals. That might be what I am trying to get at. So, meanwhile, back at the plot…
In some roles it is important for an actor to lose his or her identity into the performance. A method in the madness. Take 1tsp of character, stir with a soup spoon of performer. At worst, a miscast actor will try to find an honest character(-isation) to hide behind. Exploring, balancing a tandem, maybe even a trandem identity. Goodie goodie yum yum. Yes, no. That’s not what is happening in the Well Thumbed rehearsals. I am perfectly well cast, thank you very much, and will deliver the goodies.
However, it is important to me that the Librarian should be more than just me. I am he and he is me and we are altogether. Goo goo ga joob.
One moment we, he and me, are being Richard Burton, the explorer (below). He has the Walrus.
Then, at the very next line, we find ourselves trying to be ourselves. Disarming, charming.
Before switching into a character written by this fellow:
By which time we all need a coffee. Anyone for Starbuck?
Well Thumbed isn’t all that complicated. But there is only one man on the stage. & he will be the Librarian. Not me. I’m just trying to work out what I am doing there.
& what about that pun, eh?