07 July 2008

"The kitchen is where we collect kitsch."

The eau de vie that quenched my thirst for acting evaporated some time while I was in college. Or, maybe I just lost my taste for it when I discovered that my talents were better focused elsewhere. Either way, I think it's important to establish: I am not an actor, nor do I want to be an actor.

Still, I somehow managed to garner a reputation as the Reigning Durang Queen of my beloved alma mater. This is because I was cast as the title character in a student production of Naomi in the Living Room (probably performed sans permissions, oops). I doubt I'll be able to live this down as long as my college cronies live dementia-free.

For those unfamiliar with this play, Naomi is absolutely batshit crazy. The scene is nightmarish and bizarre. Naomi flip flops between extreme emotions. She is cruel, vulnerable, and makes sense only to herself. Naomi is a problem, but a really, really fun problem for an actor.

After Naomi, I had obviously found my niche as an actor: larger than life, highly unstable women. I have director friends that sometimes threaten to make me reprise my short-lived acting career. They taunt me with another Durang creation, Sister Mary Ignatius because I would be "perfect for that role in 20 years." I used to work with someone that thought the world would be a better place if I could recreate the role of Joan Crawford from Mommie Dearest.

If I was at all driven to act, my knack for instability might prompt a serious "what does this say about me?" exploration. Instead, I am happy enough to say that my experience playing Naomi has given me a choice line that I have used (repeatedly) to describe myself and other colorful folks in the theater.

"I need a big couch to sit on a because I'M A BIG PERSONALITY!!!!"


Anonymous said...

Having not yet succumbed to dementia, I do fondly recall that performance - thought I remember being especially impressed that Renee - who in acting class was so terrified of public speaking that she put off a presentation until the last day of class and only did it then so she wouldn't fail, somehow completely pulled her part off.

Audra said...

Meowface McBroom directed a series of Durang scenes for his Directing II final my senior year, in which James & I acted in them for him. Naomi was included. The title character was played by someone you don't know, Annie Rimmer. Anyways, with james & I playing the husband/wife in Naomi, you'll recall that the scene called for James to come in towards the end of the scene dressed like his wife (played by yours truly). It was a sight to be seen, quite hysterical, but I would have loved to have seen you as Naomi. OH, Durang, Durang. We also did Canker Sores, DMV lady (my favorite, title roled played by myslef), and the One Minute Scene. Somebody or another (Winnie?) has pictures posted on fbook of it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not one of your fans Mother!