PB Pretzels

Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

Claudine Jones

Well sweetie pie death is all around us. I got our latest New Yorker and turned to the poems, read them to the empty chair. The themes are dark these days.

Talked to M this morning and I was caught up by something he said about having hard conversations. I haven't acknowledged myself as someone who avoids those but perhaps it explains my obsession with wanting people to be happy and needing the resolution of conflict to occur without anybody actually getting upset. How the fuck is that supposed to happen.

I guess what M was referring to is if you're angry, you're angry! I laughed and said well my mother used to say anger is the flag of failure and man that just set him going, he laughed his head off. I tried to explain that what she meant was blah blah and he interrupted me no no no no and then we got into this whole discussion about saying anything to deflect rather than addressing the issue at hand: pain and sadness and loss.

I was telling him I am good at telling stories and that's what makes me a good actor, but he doesn't want to hear a bunch of stories; what he wants to hear is something more focused on how I'm feeling.  Sounds like a bit of a cliche but it's true if you're telling stories, you're not actually paring it down to the essence of what's really behind everything. Maybe that's why Rich wasn't satisfied with prose writing—novels and short stories and such—he actually was phenomenal at poetry because it suited him: pared down to the essence.

What Bobby Weinapple told me when I was doing stretch improv: I could do grief holy moly but what I needed was something not in my bailiwick—lightness, comedy! Yeah, this is getting fascinating the whole idea that you are in charge of you. You are the boss of you. So essentially when you begin to get typecast, unless you really push back or you have a director who trusts you, it's way too easy to do the same kind of role over and over again. And of course, that's the reason that Bobby had those stretching classes cuz stretching! Getting you past your comfort zone. Why not? Well duh: cuz it's scary; it's way easier just to do what you do well and not wander outside the borders where you might get laughed at and not in a good way. Lord knows you also might Crash and Burn.

Reminds me of Rich's old buddy who was an aspiring actress and at her last audition went for an equity callback like how many times? Five or six and they finally did not cast her because she was supposed to be part of the family and she didn't quote unquote look like the other people. At least that's what they told her. What a cop out. Dustin Hoffman didn't exactly look like the character he was supposed to play in The Graduate. He was supposed to be a Golden Boy like Robert Redford for cryin' out loud.

C and I were talking about that the other day, how it seems like we are pigeonholed. And I told her that I got all kind of ballsy when I auditioned for What the Butler Saw because I knew immediately the only other suitable role for a woman was going to be cast with another actor who was totally right for it, perfect in fact, and that left Dr. Rance. 163123-crSo, I asked to read and by God my androgyny served me well. I had so much fun wearing wingtips and a mustache. If you've never sucked on a mustache let me tell you it is a great prop. And I had the bizarro experience of what it must be like for a man to assault a woman. That was not very pleasant but it was in character and we all know that Joe Orton was nuts anyway.

So, sweetie pie, just to let you know: yesterday I missed you so much, I went through half a bag of those Trader Joe's potato chips you used to get me for movie night.

And I ate the rest of your peanut butter pretzels.

Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

Claudine Jones has had a long, full career as an Actor/Singer/Dancer. She writes a monthly column
and is a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2021 Claudine Jones
©2021 Publication Scene4 Magazine




May 2021

   Sections Cover · This Issue · inFocus · inView · inSight · Perspectives · Special Issues 
  Columns Adler · Alenier · Bettencourt · Jones · Luce · Marcott · Walsh · Letters 
  Information Masthead · Submissions · Prior Issues · Privacy · Terms · Books · Archives
  Connections Contact Us · Your Comments · Subscribe · Advertising · Your Support 

| Search Issue | Search Archives | Share Page |

Scene4 (ISSN 1932-3603), published monthly by Scene4 Magazine–International Magazine
of Arts and Culture. Copyright © 2000-2021 Aviar-Dka Ltd – Aviar Media Llc.

Thai Airways at Scene4 Magazine