Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reflections on being a State Park Fool

(or, new ways to make friends and influence others)

Since this is the final week for the State Park Fools to perform, I figured I should reflect on the experiences I had, the sights I saw, the reactions I encountered and the like while taking part in The Fool (Returns to his Chair). This has been one of the most creative, random and inspiring things I've ever been involved with, for realsies.

Since this was really my first time doing anything remotely 'acting' in front of people (outside of this one time in college when I dressed in drag and played slide guitar and banjo for a production of Cabaret), I probably went into this being one of the greenest of the potential Fools! I figured I could draw on my performing experience with bands and other ensembles for my 'piece' – which led me to using the orange ukulele to perform some absurd songs a la Tiny Tim, all foolish in some way. I never thought I'd be complimented for singing 'Lovefool' or 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' in falsetto!

My task was a bit difficult though – after wracking my brain for ideas and using Kurt and John as sounding boards, a live goldfish was decided on as the basis for my task…until I had four different goldfish die on me within a week! Other ideas came and went until I simply got a deck of cards and tried my best to build a house out of them (sometimes using massive amounts of Scotch tape and plastic cups as aids), and/or playing various card games with silly rules, either by myself or with curious audience members. Alas, some of my other task ideas proved to be too complicated or large - such as rigging up an old reel to reel to create some delays around the room to disorient people or building an office cubicle in the middle of the State Park and fielding business calls on a toy phone, but maybe some other time, eh!

Now, I should really mention the influence the other State Park performers have had on each other! I think all of us have had a great time seeing what we've all come up with, egging each other on to see what crazy things we'd do on a whim, and even coming together to cause one giant fool spectacle in the middle of a performance on one occasion. (That's what all the stomping and the giant 'ole' was about that one legendary night!) Everyone's different contributions stick out in my mind, like Peter's redundant survey, Dina's cookies and introductions, Justin eating dog food in front of stunned patrons, Diane's coloring book letters, Berianne's karaoke with a fish, Dana chasing a rubber ball with a frying pan and many many more!

Big hugs and thanks to the Fool cast, the Neo-Futurists and everyone else for being so fun, supportive and for offering great advice, such as the tips I received on building a house of cards one night at the Edgewater!

Anyway, I had fun, everyone else had fun (as far as I could tell), the audiences looked visibly entertained, and now that it’s nearly through I’ll have to keep being a Fool somehow! I now have an urge to take a class or two and attempt things like ‘blocking’, lighting design and perhaps even writing! Dangerous.


Blogger Dina said...

There was a convergence of performers that resulted in stomping and Ole one night? So sad I missed that.

I had a wonderful time too!

11:14 AM  

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