Beau Jest: Best 3rd Act of the run

…was on Friday night March 18, 2005. It actually started on Friday night during the 3rd act when I forgot a line. SARAH and JOEL are doing the “Fight” as it is called by the director and sound manager (Lane and David). The dialog goes:

JOEL: Hey, I am concerned about their feelings too, but?
SARAH: Oh really. You weren’t too concerned when you got divorced. They were traumatized.
JOEL: I was concerned about there feelings. But I took responsibility for my own actions.
SARAH: Well forgive me for not being as self actualized as you.
JOEL: Look, whatever resentment you have towards me?
SARAH: Is nothing compared to the resentment I have towards them.
JOEL: Oh. Well now we’re getting somewhere.

Amy and I are yelling at each other up until the (Beat). But on Friday I forgot my line “Look, whatever resentment you have towards me?” and we came to a screeching halt. Apparently Lane and David at the same time said “shit”. I know my next line, but could not remember that one. So I thought about the next line, how can I get it out when we haven’t presented the issue for psychologist JOEL to focus on. Amy was also trying to figure out how to help me. But then I remembered it. Now, how to present it. I just can’t yell it out. It would not fit after a significant pause. So in a fairly calm voice as if I had been mulling over it “What ever resentment you have towards me?” Amy being as good as she is, followed suit and also did her next line in a non-yelling but with equally stressful intent. Then I immediately did. “Oh. Well now we’re getting somewhere.” All told we just ended up, hopefully in the eyes of the audience, moving the (Beat) two lines earlier.

So how did this affect the next night? Well I was worried about forgetting my line again. I was thinking about it all first act. At the end of the first act, I assist setting up the table for the next scene. Then run into the dressing room to change for my entrance. I have about 3 minutes to change.

The suit I have been wearing belongs to Kudzu and the zipper was not working. So I never unzip. I just pulled the pants up and buttoned. This time the zipper had enough and completely split from one side. OH CRAP! Now what, I can’t go on stage with a open fly. So I yelled out for someone to get me some safety pins. That closed it up some, but it was still obvious that the fly was open. Time is running short. Well I would just have to try to keep it covered.

I go to put on my tie and someone says “I’d just forget the tie.” That may have been good advice. But I want the tie. So I do up the tie quickly but did not tuck it under the collar. I’ll do that before I go on stage. I jest need to get to the other side and be ready. As soon as I put on my coat and overcoat and leave the dressing room, I hear BOB say something like “you really drink four glasses of wine?” That is my queue to get ready to ring the doorbell. YIKES! So I run to the other side of the stage and arrive just in time to ring the doorbell 2 seconds early. CRAP. I ring the doorbell over one of SARAH’s lines.

Needless to say, I forgot about my tie.

I follow ABE and MIRIAM on stage and I immediately turn and face the closet, to put the coats away. When done with that I check my fly and button my coat so no one can see my crotch. Walk over to the table and sit down. OOPS! Now I remember my collar. I am so flustered that I don’t just fix it. I try to do it in a very casual way, hoping no one notice. Fat chance of that.

Now it is time for me to walk across stage, open the door, close it and walk back … part of the Sader. I almost skip this, but it would confuse the other cast members. Ok, so I get up holding my Haggadah low and using my arm to push my coat in front of me I am hoping now one will notice. I get to the door open it, stand sort of behind it and use my Haggadah to cover my crotch. Well the audience starts giggling. DAMN!

Get back to the table and as soon as the scene is at blackout, I get up and leave as quickly as possible. During intermission, I was asked what was up with the tie. It turns out nobody noticed the crotch issue because of my tie.

So how does this lead to a great 3rd act? Well, I was so upset, angry? well in general just so emotionally charged that the “fight” with SARAH was just as charged, which passed on to ABE and MIRIAM. Amy usually tears up at the beginning of Act III, Scene 2, but that night the tears were flowing. It really was a great 3rd act.

It has been said before that we really look angry, etc. during that “fight” scene, but I normally do not feel as angry as I portray. I did that night. This is what I have been talking about: How to get that level of intensity at a moments notice and consistently time after time.

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