Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Favorite Performances, My Favorite Parts

… this semester, anyway:
  • Anton in Show Business: Jane Martin
  • Lisabette Cartwright, from LaVernia, Texas. SMU graduate and third grade teacher on the verge of her first break in Show Business. She gets the part because Holly the TV Star fires the casting director and doesn’t want anyone to upstage her in a serious production of Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov. A great part.
Why? I don’t know. I can’t tell you why other than it’s a deceptively simple part. Everyone plays off of her but she’s the one with so much to lose. Holly will always have TV, Casey will always have the stage. This is Lisabette’s one and only shot at the theatre world.
Favorite line:
“I mean. Here I am, just out of drama school and I am completely drunk, talking with real actors in a real way, including a great actress of the stage and a great actress from TV, and it makes me just want to cry.”
  • Collected Stories: Donald Margulies
  • Lisa, the writing professor’s student/assistant. She is such a huge fan of Ruth’s, her writing professor in a graduate program. Lisa takes a personal episode of Ruth’s life and writes a great piece of fiction out of it.
Why? She grows, from someone who “adds question marks to the ends of declarative sentences” (“God, that makes like so much sense?”) into what she wants to be, a writer who is adept at what she does. She becomes someone who can take the narrative of someone who impresses her and turn it into a real voice. Unfortunately, that someone is Ruth. Another difficult and deceptive simple part. Collected Stories starred by Debra Messing as Lisa in its New York debut. Yes, Will & Grace Debra Messing. Another difficult but deceptive part.
Favorite lines:

“I mean, I’m in treatment, okay?, and moved to Chelsea? So now what do I do? I’ve done my parents. I’ve done my family. I’m not angry with them anymore. Fuck them. I write all day, allegedly. I don’t see anybody. I don’t go anywhere because I’m allegedly writing all the time. My boyfriend’s a lawyer; need I say more? My friends are all boring because they’re all in exactly the place I am. My life? I have no life. Every little quasi-idea that pops into my brain seems so banal, so television.”

“If something captures your eye, you told me, grab it. Remember? Like a good photojournalist: Go in and shoot. Remember Ruth? — Don’t walk away! — That’s the way you taught me! Don’t worry about feelings, you taught me that, worrying about feelings is sentimental and God knows we mustn’t be sentimental.”

I would do what Lisa does. I would take something personal from someone close to me, and use it in my art. I would cry to myself, I would agonize over it, and I would avoid them in the end, but I would do it.
My mom.
My love life, what’s left of it.
My friend, or a mentor.

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