ewhightower

Questions for Actors

In Theatre on August 20, 2014 at 3:31 am

I intended to write every day this summer. Being out late with my fellow cast members is not conducive to consistency, unless the consistency one seeks is sleeping past 10 am every day. In truth, I prefer being up early. I like getting things done. Thus has my carousing been cut down and my sleeping time moved to much earlier in the evening.

Last time I thought about blogging on here I wanted to interview some of my castmates. Here is a list of questions I am considering asking them. If you’re reading this blog — and there has been quite a bit of activity of late, fourteen entire views yesterday, that’s quite a jump from the usual zero — then mayhaps you will chime in with some questions for my fellow actors.

Here’s what I’d like to say, as an introduction to the subject of questions for actors: the first question every actor or every group of actors is asked by an audience member at a talkback is, “How do you memorize / learn / remember all your lines?”

My response is simple: How do you know your name and address, fuckmook? REPETITION, that’s how! If you walk around in a small space saying and doing the same thing for several hours a day for weeks at a time, guess what? You’ll have it so well memorized that you won’t sleep at night because it repeats on a loop in your head. Worse when it’s a musical. Doe, a deer, a female deer — SHUT THE FUCK UP. This is why actors smoke pot: to get some fucking sleep when cheery voices are shouting hummable tunes in our brainpans.

The second question asked at every talkback is something along the lines of, “Do you all get paid for this?”

Yeah, thanks for salting that wound, you ticket-affording asshat. Here’s the simple answer: NOT ENOUGH. We are, all of us, struggling to stay afloat. Want to know how bad it is? No, you don’t. You’d prefer to come to the theatre and tap your toes and hum the tunes and wipe a tear away during Edelweiss. You don’t want to know how hard it is to pay rent or visit the doctor.

So, having clarified those two points, let’s move on to the questions. What follows are things I’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview, or things I think actors should be asked in general. Read on.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up? Why?

2. When did you decide you wanted to be an actor?

3. When did you realize that this is a financially unsupportable lifestyle?

4. What do you do on the side in order to make ends meet?

5. What is the most desperate thing you’ve ever done for cash?

6. Are you a whore?

7. Would you like to be?

8. What are you doing later?

The following questions should be asked later, after the actor has prostituted itself in order to survive:

1. How do you feel about yourself right now?

2. Oh, did I get that in your eye? Sorry.

3. Not sorry, actually; what did you think being a whore was about, whore?

4. If you answer more questions, I’ll give you this Starbucks gift card that maybe has $4.00 left on it. You down?

The following questions are asked at Starbucks, where the actor has used the gift card to get a small coffee which it sips gratefully, eyes still stinging from the interviewer’s fluids.

9. Of whom, artistically, are you in awe — and why?

10. If you could resurrect one dead actor and return them to age 20 with all of the knowledge they possessed when they died, who would it be and why?

11. At what are you best?

12. Do your family / loved ones support you in your work, and how does the answer to this affect your work, if at all?

13. Have you ever farted on stage / set, and did you cop to it?

14. What is the one thing one should never do onstage / on camera?

15. What is the one thing one should always do onstage / on camera?

16. Aside from this interview, have you ever fucked anyone to get ahead in your career? If so, why? If not, was it from lack of offers or do your parents pay your rent?

17. Do you fuck your parents in exchange for rent money? Tell the truth, whore.

18. Are you gay yet?

18.5. Would you like to be?
18.5, a. What WOULD you like to be that you aren’t already?

19. Where should you be, instead of right here?

20. Who should be here instead of you?

Those are the questions that bubbled to the surface first, gentle readers. Share your thoughts, please — with the caveat that I will use the questions I find most useful. If you submit a question and I don’t use it, you’ll be fine.

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  1. 1. What did you want to be when you were growing up? Why?

    > I wanted to be a teacher because I believed at the time there was hope for youth

    2. When did you decide you wanted to be an actor?

    > The Universe decided for me when I was 18

    3. When did you realize that this is a financially unsupportable lifestyle?

    > After about 3 – 4 years in community college I realized I wasn’t clever enough to compete, so I dropped out and found a tech job. I’ve regretted that decision my whole life.

    4. What do you do on the side in order to make ends meet?

    > I do without. I’ve never been to Europe, I don’t wear brand new clothes – I do without

    5. What is the most desperate thing you’ve ever done for cash?

    > Asked my parents =/

    6. Are you a whore?

    > Not yet

    7. Would you like to be?

    > Not yet

    8. What are you doing later?

    > Playing Bunco with the oldest ladies in Orange County

    The following questions should be asked later, after the actor has prostituted itself in order to survive:

    1. How do you feel about yourself right now?

    > Mentally I am stronger than ever. Spiritually I’m hanging in there, and physically I’m falling apart

    2. Oh, did I get that in your eye? Sorry.

    > It’s okay I have two

    3. Not sorry, actually; what did you think being a whore was about, whore?

    > I’m a more whore

    4. If you answer more questions, I’ll give you this Starbucks gift card that maybe has $4.00 left on it. You down?

    > Sure, but I still need more money for a quad shot (whore)

    The following questions are asked at Starbucks, where the actor has used the gift card to get a small coffee which it sips gratefully, eyes still stinging from the interviewer’s fluids.

    9. Of whom, artistically, are you in awe — and why?

    > Probably Helen Mirren, because she was in Caligua and still became a Dame

    10. If you could resurrect one dead actor and return them to age 20 with all of the knowledge they possessed when they died, who would it be and why?

    > Probably Buster Keaton. I don’t know – I feel like Robert Deniro, but he isn’t dead yet

    11. At what are you best?

    > Coming up with ideas. I’m usually a catalyst for fresh thoughts. I don’t think I’m a muse – I think it’s like imagination reiki – I’m just the vessel

    12. Do your family / loved ones support you in your work, and how does the answer to this affect your work, if at all?

    > They never took it seriously, and by the time they did – it was too late

    13. Have you ever farted on stage / set, and did you cop to it?

    > absolutely I have and absolutely I didn’t

    14. What is the one thing one should never do onstage / on camera?

    > Make racial slurs while smearing feces on autistic children

    15. What is the one thing one should always do onstage / on camera?

    > eat hot dogs while awkwardly staring into the camera

    16. Aside from this interview, have you ever fucked anyone to get ahead in your career? If so, why? If not, was it from lack of offers or do your parents pay your rent?

    > Absolutely not. I feel like it would actually help my current situation, but I’m too “Mrs Potts” for it to be effective anymore

    17. Do you fuck your parents in exchange for rent money? Tell the truth, whore.

    > Not anymore

    18. Are you gay yet?

    > I thought I was after the divorce – but I was too scared to do anything about it. Turns out I was just depressed

    18.5. Would you like to be?

    > Sometimes

    18.5, a. What WOULD you like to be that you aren’t already?

    > A fashion designer or a croupier

    19. Where should you be, instead of right here?

    > In a victorian mansion on a lake with a sea of peacocks hollering outside

    20. Who should be here instead of you?

    > an inflatable salmon

    Those are the questions that bubbled to the surface first, gentle readers. Share your thoughts, please — with the caveat that I will use the questions I find most useful. If you submit a question and I don’t use it, you’ll be fine.

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