Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pad Thai and MURDER!...oh, and theater

My sister and I picked up some food after work at The Lieutenant of Inishmore last night.  As I was standing at the counter paying, the owner's eyes darted at my forearms and fingernails pink from mopping up stage blood, and accented with occasional clumps and swashes of deep red.  

Late Night Thai: What happened?
Me: I'm sorry?
LNT: What happened?  Your hands.
Me: Oooh, uh, em, I work at, uh it's uh stage blood.  I work at a theater.  The show, um, lot of fake blood.  It's fake.  Fake blood.
LNT: (laughing and smiling) You not kill somebody?
Me: (hands up, backing away, smiling) I swear, officer, it's corn syrup!

I guess the interesting thing about this is how, in the theater, objects act too.  Some of them are type cast.  That chair is playing a chair.  That clock is playing a clock.  But that corn syrup is playing blood and the corn syrup can't break character.  

I like to think about the magic of the collective will to storytelling that the theater represents for me. What I'm wondering about now, however, is whether the acting that objects do - becoming signifiers sometimes of themselves, sometimes of similar or disparate object - is a product of the breadth of this will to include every aspect or of the focus of this will to disregard obstructing details.  Certainly the result is the same, but the process of this imagination could be exploited further if understood accurately.

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