Acting on the role of Lucifer in this play reminded me of this joke:
A drunk is crawling around under a lamppost. A cop comes and asks the drunk, ‘‘what are you doing? ’’
‘‘I’m looking for my keys,’’ the drunk continues, ‘‘I lost them in the alley,’’
‘‘If you lost them in the alley---’’ the cop says, ‘‘Why are you looking for them here?’’
The drunk says, ‘‘Light’s better here.’’
But the light is not good in the alley---the alley is the dark, hidden, forbidden place in a human soul. The light is not better there. The dark alley is disturbing and frightening for where the monster of our self lives.
It is easy to say, ‘‘We all must be good and happy.’’ For it is easy to simply blame the Villain for his bad deeds in a story. We all want to be good. The question is at what cost? In this real world, what makes a person truly good? A good person cannot be corrupted or deceived? But, in reality, there is nobody who cannot be corrupted or deceived, because we are all human, because we all have the desires. We all have secret lusts, passions, greed, envies, regrets and ambitions---.
It is dark in the alley because we have removed the light from those things we would much rather not examine-------But to examine them, to bring them to light, to form the unformed thought into a logical presentation is the job of actors. It is a very difficult task for us, indeed. The trip to the dark alley is dangerous. For how may we value them? Are they the thoughts of madness? Will they be acceptable to the public? The whole process of this production was frightening for nothing is certain.
But, we actors still all like to believe that facing the dark alley, to bring them to light may give us the capacity to overcome his/her human weaknesses, in order to serve some higher ideal.
‘‘Light’s better here.’’ Now, who is the ‘‘drunk’’? He is you and me. The key is, of course, the truth. The joke seems to concern the drunk and the key, but the drama concerns the drunk and his antagonist, the cop----as when this play concerns maybe the humans and Lucifer? It is hell of a joke-----------Enjoy your journey, God speed.
‘‘O, for a muse of fire!’’ This quote was posted on the wedding invitation with my wife, the director Stephanie Alkazian. At first, Stephanie and I only came up these one- acts project as the simple fundraiser for our next production, with this chorus speech from Henry V. Throughout the process, we, actors get to ask these common questions. ‘‘What’s the relationship between Katrina and Petruchio? Or Olivia and Viola?’’ ‘‘Why does Lady Anne fall for Richard?’’ ‘‘What makes the Romeo and Juliet funny but tragic?’’ ‘‘How does Richard die?’’
As we going into those questions deeper and deeper, we started asking our scenes, ‘‘Did we think it’s truly funny?’’ ‘‘Did we make the final battle astonishing enough?’’ ‘‘Is this one-act not enough to make it understandable to people? Then, what’s the whole point of doing this one-act?’’ As we get more questions we get less answer. In the end of each rehearsal, I was completely confused and overwhelmed by the innumerable questions we got to ask.
In the end, I witnessed the quality of those questions have grown each time and the question itself became something valuable to us.’’ We finally realize, ‘‘All the world’s a stage’’ the life we create onstage is the life of our own. There is great merit in asking the questions.
This production surely astonished me with imaginations of the actors and the power of Shakespeare’s beautiful words. As the first quote suggests, the tiny tiny fire----the small inspiration can rise to the highest level of imagination, we created this showcase from basically nothing. There’s no extravagant costume, nor sets for this show. But, each actor’s imagination will surely comes to alive and become real onstage from just the inks on the paper. This tiny simple fundraiser has become one complete showcase to us.
A message to the Players: Our night has come. Go on bring your own unpreparedness, your insecurities, your insufficiency to the stage----whatever you do, they will come with you. Go on stage and act in spite of them. Your imagination, your character is also confused and insufficient, as you are. But there’s nothing ignoble about honest sweat, you don’t have to drench it with cheap scent. Go on stage and show them proudly. And, when you step onstage, we are with you onstage.