Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dead Body FAQ

People ask me a lot of questions about what it's like to play a dead body, which I'm currently doing in Any Body Home? at Stage Coach Theatre. I thought I'd post answers to some of the most frequent questions here:
Q: How do you not move?
A: I just practiced not moving until I got really good at it.
Q: How do you not laugh?
A: Actually, the rest of the cast doesn't laugh either. It helps that we've rehearsed the play as much as we have, but when you get down to it, it's the same way you manage not to laugh at inappropriate occasions such as funerals.
Q: Do you ever get hurt getting dragged around like that?
A: Luckily for me, I'm working with a director who's played a dead body before, so he knows how to keep an actor playing a dead body safe. That's important because when you're dead, you can't move or adjust yourself or say anything if someone's carrying you in a way that hurts. I'm also working with dedicated actors who are very careful with me and make sure to carry me in ways that won't hurt me or themselves. That said, yes, I do have some bruises from a fall I do every night. But they're not any worse than, like, bumping into furniture. Which I pretty much do on a daily basis. Because I'm a klutz.
Q: Is your character really alive and just pretending to be dead, like the guy in Saw?
A: No. And you have terrible taste in horror movies.
Q: Do you ever fall asleep onstage? (I have been asked this on more than one occasion.)
A: No. All these people keep walking around in my apartment, talking and screaming.
Q: Do you get really drunk before the show to make yourself more limp? (Again, I have been asked this on more than one occasion.)
A: No. That seems like a bad idea on so many levels, but I'll just give one example. That fall I do has to be done with a relative amount of precision, or I'll get hurt a lot more than I do. I think being drunk could impede that.
Q: How do you audition to be a dead body?
A: I didn't, actually. My director, Kevin Labrum, decided to call up the most lightweight actress he knows. That'd be me.
Q: Do you ever get itchy?
A: Yes. Oh God yes.

Can't believe I forgot this one....

Q: Did you have a hard time learning your lines?
A: Ha ha ha! I've never heard that before!


Kim L said...

That's a great FAQ. Very amusing. We should post it in the lobby.


Lora V. said...

Thanks, Kim!

MorbidDreamer said...

nice work - were having photography funny page in flickr for playing dead photos here is it:
but there most of us play dead body only for minute for photo - its a great patience to do it during hours on spectacle :)
What happens if you need to go to pee or have to sneeze? or you try do all this before stage?