The Zombie at the Front Door

Actor pondering:

My body was shaking. My best friend had stolen a vial of morphine from my bag, tried to murder a retired professor, was jealous of the attention I was getting from the professor's wife, and I suggested several times he should just put a bullet though his head. A scene from Act IV of Checkov's UNCLE VANYA.

When performing on stage or set, what do you do when done? Your mind knows you are playing, pretending...your body doesn’t. Why do I feel so jangled? I wasn’t really running from Zombies all day, telling my friend to kill himself, but you were doing everything you can with whatever acting technique you use to simulate that, to let the camera or audience know it is “real.”

Poor body. If you’ve been crying all day over the death of Bobby because Ethel the zombie ate his brain, body doesn’t know it didn’t happen, it was fantasy. It has all the endorphins, spent adrenaline, fear, fire, foe, flee or fight, etc. It needs a cool down, or step out.

A glass of wine? Dinner? Play with doggie??

I was gifted with an ALBA workshop technique by the late Rocco Dal Verra, a college classmate, with the silliest step out. It is a collection of moves and stretches that no one would do in real life. It’s purpose is to inform your body that you’re back in the so called real world. The traumas were pretend. Takes maybe three minutes. It grounds you.

That still doesn’t explain the zombie at the front door.


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