The Doll, by Miro Galvan, has started rehearsals. This is a little two-person show happening next month at the Little Fish Theater in San Pedro. My character, Marko, is a forty year-old lonely man who has decided to acquire a live-in love doll as his primary companion. The show is being directed by the able James Rice and it stars the lovely and talented Analeis Lorig.
Currently I’m wrestling with where my character is coming from. Based on my first read of the show, nearly everything the character has to say is cynical, self-interested or abusive. The show seemed quite dark to me. And this show is apparently supposed to be a comedy. So if I abused this poor sweet doll on stage the way that Marko sounds in my head, everyone would want to lynch me by the end of the show. I needed help.
“Take out the cynicism,” Jim informed me. And so I hit upon the idea of playing every line that Marko says, exactly the opposite from my interpretation of the text. If the text is bitter, he’s feeling loving; if the text is flighty, he’s calm, and so forth. Playing Marko this way, is, to say the least, a fun challenge, in the sense of an acting exercise.
Analeis is immensely talented. It feels good to be challenged to turn in higher quality work. I can’t merely phone it in, as I have done in lesser shows. And since this is a little teeny two-person show, the eyes are on me and her the entire time — no down time.
She’s good. And that is refreshing. Actors who are good totally raise the level of everyone else. It is refreshing to be challenged; it is refreshing to be able to use my own ideas. I feel now that I can’t come in and just wing it — I had better come in with strong opinions and creativity about how to make Marko work.