Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kirk Jackson - SHIPWRECKED Blog 3 - "Try to Remember the Kind of September"

I will now answer the most frequently asked question at every audience talkback, organized by any theatre for any production since the beginning of time. If you attend a performance of Shipwrecked! and stay afterward for a talkback and ask this question, I will know that you did not read this blog.

The answer is … Repetition. Why do you know all the words to “White Christmas”? Not from recent personal experience certainly but because you’ve heard it a thousand times. So, I needed to schedule a thousand run-throughs of Shipwrecked! (the words) for myself, even though the audience will only be present for numbers 985 on. This however requires a level of discipline akin to a vow of silence (if only!) and a lot of time.

I set a goal of learning 15 pages a month starting in Sept. in order to be totally memorized by New Years. On 9/28 I realized I had memorized a total of … three pages.

Time for Plan B: the carrot and the stick. I will not be allowed alcoholic beverages until I successfully negotiate the entire play, knowing what happens next and saying the lines perfectly. Don’t hold your breath, people. While I enjoy the benefits of sobriety, I have yet to get through the entire 90 plus minutes without help, but we’re getting closer. Sometimes I think I'm not going to have a drink until after the closing performance. The upside for the audience is that the show will be different every time – a real live event. And I’ve learned that to accomplish one seemingly insurmountable task, take on another. Hey, maybe I should become a motivational guru, write a book, help Oprah lose ten pounds and retire rich and famous.

By the way the closing performance is a matinee on Superbowl Sunday. So if you have feedback you want to give me after THAT performance you’ll find me at the nearest bar to the backdoor of the Herberger. Hmm. I think that would be Hooters.

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