I confess nerves got to me before I went and I hid in the house, not sure I could face the pressure. Even on arrival I wasn’t sure I could cope.
But there was the equity bulletin board that had a place for me to sign in. Next to it a picture of the cast, and there was my headshot. Stage Manager Joe Smelser came out to the Green Room to see if I needed anything.
A new cast member, Patrick Kennedy, came into The Collection as a replacement. It’s wonderful watching such a professional actor pull it out, even under jet lag from having just flown in from London. I recognized at once he had that Pinter thing, pauses and all. All I can say is if this Patrick were staring at a mouse, I wouldn’t want to be that mouse.
I know something about Pinter pauses. My role is all about pauses, and I make the most of them. You must play Pinter’s music. And of course, as every actor knows, more important than what you do when you’re speaking, it’s the inner life you communicate when you are listening to other actors. I followed the double action of the simultaneous scenes, giving focus to whichever actor was speaking.
Only “great” and prr-fect” notes from Michael Kahn.
The Lover and The Collection
by Harold Pinter
September 26 – October 29, 2017
Details and tickets
I fancy I even found an unplanned moment or two. When the music came on, the great Puccini aria from Madame Butterfly, I turned to look straight out front, lifted my chin just a little and widened my eyes, as if I might burst into song myself, I so felt the tragic figure.
And when the “stranger” rang the bell and entered the flat, I flicked my tail angrily, taking on the inner discomfort of actress Lisa Dwan as Stella who held me tightly in her arms. I dug my nails in, oh, just a little, to support her truth of being in distress. We are already working as one, I can feel it, manifesting the inner tension and menace of Pinter.
Oh, for the life of the theater!