Extremely Interesting Things That We Think

What it means to be an actor in a Post 9/11 World

David .   - Sunday, December 14, 2014

- These days a lot of younger actors ask me how do you do it David?
How do you and Ben consistently make great work and wrestle with huge
controversial topics but always wind up out on top. This is a great
question young actors. For this I turn to what Ben and I call the 5
Point Plan for creating Political work.
I'm going to share it with you here.
1. Rustle EVERYONE's feathers. If your audience is coming knowing
your show is about women's rights, throw them off early on with
something they're not expecting like maybe open and say "Hi I'm David,
thanks for coming to the show tonight, just for starters want to put
out there that I believe women belong in the kitchen." When they boo
and stuff, take a step forward and say something like "That was a
character. I'm David. There's gonna be a lot of that kind of stuff
tonight," so stay alert.
2. Always incorporate as many political topics as possible. When Ben
and I did a one day workshop of "Russia and Crimea A Love Story" we
had one of the Russian characters be a transgender, Mexican-American
farmer with a heart of gold who was being held captive by the
Republican Party because he was gay. A lot of people were not
expecting that.
3. Don't leave any room for uncertainty. Tie everything up in a nice
bow. Some of these political issues are really complicated and
delicate, so make it easy for everyone and tell them how to feel.
4. Assault your audience. We are well known for really getting up in
an audience's preconceptions. We have something we're writing where
we ask for a volunteer and bring a black man forward (hopefully very
large) and a latino man forward (who hopefully has a lot of tattoos)
and ask the audience who did the crime...Point out prejudice by saying
guess what everyone...neither one of them did it...Ben and I did. The
white guys.
5. Be Self-Depricating. After Ben and I list our awards at the end
of the show during the "credits" section of the Curtain Call, we
usually do something self-deprecating like "If you liked the show tell
your friends, and if you didn't like it tell your enemies!" And then
we end with the "Feedback" part of the Curtain Call where we ask for
compliments.


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