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Acting Naturally

Richard's Writings > Acting Naturally > Scrooge's Christmas Carol - second production

Synopsis of Scrooge's Christmas Carol - second production

One year later, the same production company produces a second production of this Christmas classic. I again play Scrooge, with many of the same folks in the cast as last year. This means we can all new layers of subtlety to our characters, having already played these roles and recited these lines before. Very interesting, to do the same show again, yet NOT the same show again. And I was to perform as Scrooge in yet a third production, a few years later.

Excerpt from Scrooge's Christmas Carol - second production

For example, in the scene when I sit opposite Marley's Ghost and say "You might be a bit of cheese, or even some undigested beef - a bit of underdone potato" - Becky wants me to show a growing hysteria as I chuckle through those lines. And I can add that overtone, thanks to having come to know and own these lines from already having said them hundreds of times before.

Another modification: this year I know a bit more about make-up than last year, so I plan to white the top of my nose and darken the sides, to make it more hawk-like, and I'll darken over and under the eyes to accent their piercing quality, and I'll apply the usual lines and wrinkles around the nose, between the eyebrows, and on the forehead.

One acting technique that I might try goes as follows: reduce a scene to the primary emotion (I'm thinking of Scrooge when he first sees Marley's ghost, and later when he sees Christmas Future - sheer terror). Now sit quietly and try to remember a similar time in your own past when you felt this emotion (I remember putting out the garbage cans one night and from no-where a savage dog all-but-leaped on me, snarling and barking with bared teeth - I jumped six feet, felt ice water in my loins, felt my heart race). Now try to go through all your senses, one at a time - how did the clothes feel on your skin, what did you taste, etc. (I remember it being a cool summer evening, with the smell of honeysuckle in the air). Now isolate that one association and use it. I'm going to scent a handkerchief with honeysuckle oil, and take a quick sniff before my fright scenes begin. In theory, all the emotion associated with that smell comes tumbling forth, helping you "act" the terror.


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