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Notes on a Chorus Line June 7, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Knitting, Literature, Look what I did, Theatre.

To be involved in any way with the theatre, particularly acting but also elsewhere, takes a certain type of person – the sort of person who is very aware of their own perceived strengths and weaknesses, what they’re good at, and where they’ve come from.  Not necessarily self-aware, particularly, but its the sort of thing that a lot of them seem to think about quite a bit.  I say they.  Obviously I’m including myself in this, at least a bit.

One effect of this is a vast swathe of plays written about the theatre.  Loads of them.  Everywhere.  From the Phantom of the Opera to Noises Off, people who perform are written, imitated and dissected by people who perform.  Essentially, actors, writing about actors, for actors.

Chorus Line is a textbook example of this, being entirely focused around actors during an audition, being insecure, singing monologues, and generally baring their souls about how desperate they are to get to the top and how they’re never going to make it.  It’s good fun.  It’s very good fun to watch, and hum, and clap along to but the people to whom it has special significance, who might say, “Oh, Chorus Line!  That’s my favourite play!” are actors.  You get the feeling, as an audience member, that it’s not really about you.  It’s not supposed to be.  It’s a manifestation of the truism that actors are eternally fascinated with actors.

Authors are eternally fascinated with authors.  Painters are eternally fascinated with other painters.  Anything creative and introspective necessarily means that you’re taking something inside you and putting it outside you, and that, for me, means that a lot of plays like Chorus Line are very interesting.  I’m not an expert on the significance or subtext in plays, and nor do I play one on TV, but I’m finding it surprisingly difficult to get engrossed in the plot and the characters and their motives so much as the actors, and what they think the characters say about them.  A lot, as it turns out.  The director more so.  The choreographer’s just having a whale of a time.

In the meantime… I haven’t really had time to stop.  Saturday was Grey Day, which was wonderful but I was at college at about 6am and got home about 3am after we’d finished clearing up.  A lot of people did a lot more hard work than I did, but it’s all cumulative at the moment.  I recovered from that on Sunday and was in rehearsals from nine o’clock this morning.  I’ve got a formal in half an hour – the first of three black tie events I’m going to this week.  There’s no time to slow down; I feel like I haven’t got exams out of my system yet.

This has helped:

Recognise that yarn?  It’s the Port Ludlow Sock, and I love it.  A simple, memorable six-stitch repeat.  Nothing too complicated or difficult or confusing.  I don’t have to carry a pattern around or count stitches every few rows.  I can just… knit.  Keep knitting.  I took it to Grey Day and turned the heel in the sunshine, with cider and friends and swing music.  It was wonderful.  Some people said that the stitch pattern might get swamped by the yarn, and I can see where they might be coming from but personally I think it’s worked really well.  I look forward to wearing them, and to them reminding me of the occasions I spent knitting them.

More soon, probably – it’s going to be a hectic week, though.  I have to be out of the house in five minutes.



1. Roobeedoo - June 10, 2010

“The kids yelled NOTHING! I’m feeling nothing! And nothing could get a girl traaans-ferred”. Oh yes indeed. Lovely sock!

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