July 21st, 2010

Bill Masks

30 Days of Bill

Swiped from Dramaturgca and Angevin2

I'm a couple days behind everyone else, but I don't think that will matter too much.

Day #1: Your favorite play

I love starting off with a no-brainer. King Lear, hands down.

I can't tell a lot of the details, they will come out in other answers, but in 1985 I came home from school after reading my first Shakespeare play and announced that I liked Shakespeare. My mother *flew* to the telephone. I think she had the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on speed dial just waiting for the day I was old enough to be interesting.

She had the whole trip planned out, then came down with a horrible case of the shingles. She was better enough to make the drive, but between that and the fact she doesn't do well in hot weather, she was absolutely miserable.

We got to our first play, All's Well That Ends Well, performed outdoors on the big Elizabethan stage...and I *HATED* it. Absolutely hated it. I couldn't follow the plot at all. I could only keep track of one character, and that was because he wore an eye patch. Then, halfway through the damn play, some of his friends pulled some kind of prank to prove he wasn't a brave war hero and HE TOOK THE FUCKING EYE PATCH OFF!!!

At this point, I was done with Shakespeare.

Between the 8 hour drive and all the other plays she bought tickets for us to see, Mom was sweating bullets. First thing the next morning we go to the Tudor Guild bookstore and buy a copy of the Stories of the Plays the Festival puts out every year. It gives a scene-by-scene synopsis of each play, character sketches, some background and history of the plays - pretty much everything that's right up my alley. I poured over it while we ate and I was feeling reasonably secure heading into matinee.

Sure enough, I had good reason to feel that way. The entire first scene, I had a good idea of who everyone was! I kept nudging Mom to tell her who was who (and to keep her awake, she was so sick she really should have just dropped me off, the poor dear).

Then something wonderful happened.

Act 1, scene 2, this guy walked on stage and he was gorgeous. Very Italian, very chiseled, and he commanded everyone's attention. Edmund the Bastard, villain of the play, had every one of us in the palm of his hand as he explained why he was going to be the villain. He hit the lines:
"I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!"
and the audience gave him a standing ovation.

Once again, a standing ovation for the villain in his first scene.

It was all over for me. I was head over heels for the actor, the character, the play, the playwright and the lifestyle.

King Lear is why I am where I am today.

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Us

This Week

We've been having a movie kind of week around the Burner Family Compound.

Monday we had dinner out in the party palace with Dad and Ila and then came upstairs to watch 9. I was surprised by how short it was. It wasn't bad, it was just that they picked a focus and stayed tight to that instead of adding other elements.

Tuesday we were going to have carnitas with the meat Kamala brought to my birthday but we both got home a little late. I finally found the poutine cart downtown, so I picked some up for a surprise. Dad and Ila had already eaten, it was pissing down rain, so we just ate the poutine and went to see The Eclipse at Beartooth. I was really impressed. It was a well-constructed ghost story. They leaned a little heavily on the "SCARE YA!!!" musical sting to make you jump, but the images continued to be frightening even after the cue faded.

Tonight we finally made the carnitas and had dinner with Dad, Ila and Jay. Dad and Ila are big Morgan Freeman fans and they had rented Invictus. We missed that one in theatres so they let us borrow it. Zod, I love South Africa. I really want to go back again.

Tomorrow night I'm hoping to get to Survival of the Dead at Beartooth. You can't go wrong with zombies and beer.