Last night I went to see a friend in a one-man show. Neil McGarry did a brilliant job as Richard Burbage in "Burbage", who (for those of you who napped occasionally during English class in high school) was arguably the most famous of the actors who made Shakespeare so popular back in the day. For one solid hour Neil spoke to an imaginary boy who had wandered into the Globe Theatre to join the dizzying world of the stage. Not one actor was there to give him a cue or remind him of the next line or give him ANYTHING to which he could react. He was absolutely amazing. The church hall where he performed was the quietest place I've been in years. Everyone gave rapt attention to every word. I sat in awe.
After the performance I told Neil how impressed I was and how I was having trouble memorizing what I had (until then) believed was a ton of dialogue. He advised me to speak the lines aloud as I walked. He gave me several hints on locking knees and unlocking jaws and generally just behaving like an absolute loon who would frighten the neighbors for a while, but he swears it works, so I'm going to do it. I've reached the "everyone else makes it look so easy" part of rehearsing. I'm sure they're working twice as hard as I have been. Or maybe it just really does come naturally to some people. I don't know how that works. I won't be offended if you see me walking around talking to myself and decide it would be better not to acknowledge that you know me. Maybe I'll just put on my earphones and tuck the unconnected wire into my pocket so I'll blend in with everyone else out there. It's mildly terrifying, but damn, it's fun!