Wednesday, November 10, 2010

angels notes

So, those of you who saw ‘Angels in America’ know that at the top of the show (Millennium Approaches, Part I) as Roy Cohn I spent a few scenes on stage at my desk on the upper platform after my scene was over. Starting at some point during tech week I got a legal pad and some pens along with a few folders of random shit so Roy could appear to be working while the other scenes took place down on the deck.

I saved the pad because I felt like I had made some notes worth revisiting (I never looked at it until after the run ended, and I never looked at it out of character--or at least offstage) and I wanted to read over what I had done. I’m planning on transcribing some of the more interesting bits in coming days. (Scanning the pages I wrote in cursive would be pretty pointless to anyone who isn’t me.)

Here’s a scan of the first page of the legal pad. As you can see, I started out making some notes in character. (Poor Mrs. Soffer.) Soon enough, I seem to have grown bored and started making notes about tech issues, and trying to make sense of my exits and entrances while I had a moment to breathe and nothing else to do.

I like the notes as Roy: 'What is up with my fingernails?' It's fungus, Roy. Ask Doctor Henry.

As the run went on, I started sort of free-writing, filling a bunch of pages with random ramblings on death, mortality and the angst and despair of living in this strange age--which happen to be subjects the other characters were discussing. Go figure.

I also made notes on my novel, and edited and added scenes to a couple of short stories. It may sound disrespectful or like I wasn’t engaged in what was going on, but as I read over these pages, I think all of these writings were influenced by the sadness of Joe and Harper’s marital troubles and of course the sheer horror of the news Prior delivers to Louis.

In addition to the pages that directly address life and death, there is a short story in progress that I had started before the run, but was definitely influenced by the show. It’s about two brothers, kids whose story centers around death (one boy has a near-death experience himself, and experiences the death of a loved one, and it...changes him in expected ways and unexpected ways.) It also ended up being set in the gloom of late autumn in the northeast, like Angels, and that along with the talk of death and coping with its seeming inevitability definitely altered the places I’ve gone and where I am going with it. I’ll put some pages up here soon.

Hope you find this interesting or at least amusing.

No comments: