Thursday, April 19, 2012

TIME STANDS STILL - Blog 1 - Kerry McCue (Mandy Bloom)

Once again, I find myself pregnant. My character, I mean. In a play. I'm in a play and my character is pregnant. This is not new for me. I've played pregnant at least 5 times before, at three different theater companies and in an indie film. I think my favorite was playing the pregnant goddess Ceres in Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, regally displaying a huge belly, scarfing pickles dipped in ice cream (really) while deciding the fates of puny mortals. My upcoming role in Donald Marguiles' Time Stands Still is my second pregnant role for Actors Theatre. Last time I was "Izzy" in David Lindsay Abaire's Rabbit Hole. When the costumer heard I was cast this time around, she simply pulled my former pregnant belly out of storage. A "belly pad," as it's called, is an interesting costume piece. It looks like a flesh-colored, one-piece swimsuit with a round pillow on the front and extra padding in the bust. My favorite touch is the snap they sew on to simulate an "outy" belly-button. You pull it on over your head and it snaps at the crotch. Too much information?

I've played pregnant women before, but have never actually BEEN pregnant myself so the the physicality is something I have to work hard on. You don't want to be stereo-typical or have your role come off as a caricature. You can only stretch your back and rub your bump so many times. You must re-learn how to carry yourself, how to walk without being able to see your feet, how to sit, and (my favorite) how to lever yourself up from a low couch. And you have to find a way to make "actable" the protective feeling that mothers have about the life they are carrying inside them.

But my character is more than just a pregnant lady. She's a ray of sunshine, funny and open and honest. And she briefly touches on the highly charged working vs. stay at home mom debate that has been in the news so much of late. It adds an up-to-the-minute vibe to this play with is already very topical and highly relevant to what's going on in the world today. Plus is essentially a love story, the most universal of all themes. Don't miss it.

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