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"All the world's a stage,
and all the men and women (and all of us in between) merely players..."
Jacques - As You Like It

excuse the bastardized Shakespeare quote but I am in the middle of rehearsing his "Henry V" AND it seems a most apt way to begin this topic. for the inhabitants of these boards have much to offer a topic that concerns acting...

just off the top of my head I can think of Sweetie's recent run in "King Lear" (god, i hope i remember that correctly as i can't seem to find that thread); a conversation with Derrick in a Dress at the Mothership party where she was telling my wife and I of her new show; the fantastic Kiki & Herb shows; memories of posters all over midtown touting Sherry Vine and Candis Cayne doing "A Doll's House"; etc...

i had originally written to Tonya expressing interest in starting a topic about being an executive transvestite (thank god for Eddie Izzard) while acting in the "mainstream" world but that seemed to me a rather limited (and boring) kind of topic. full disclosure, i'm a company member at the Jean Cocteau Repertory and will be playing the lead in Henry V and Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest.

it is with the memory of all the wonderful "alt/drag/experimental" performances that i've heard about, and unfortunately due to my schedule, rarely seen, that i'd like to open a discussion about the art of acting - wherever we happen to be doing it.

i feel very strongly that some of the most interesting art - as far as acting/theatre goes - has happened off the beaten track. and yet, there is more and more acceptance from the establishment (see Ben Brantley's glowing review of Lypsinka's "Lypsinka!: The Boxed Set") that i cannot help but be curious to find out and discuss how we motherboard folk have been making it happen.

so fire away.


'no, i just read it somewhere.'
- tom stoppard

[This message was edited by betty crow on 08-21-02 at 12:20 AM.]
'in matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.' -oscar wilde
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it dawns on me that i ought to post some sort of 'just-who-the-hell-are-you' kind of bio


i've been acting since 19 (now 33), never had plans to be an actor and certainly didn't go to school for it.

i've been fortunate enough to work at places where it was acceptable to 'learn on the job' and i've achieved a slight modicum of success (note that there are some bad reviews in there as well roll eyes)... and no, i'm not a drag racer, although the irony of it doesn't escape me.

it's always been somewhat of a bitch that i don't live in shakespeare's time so it would be acceptable for me to play female roles - and i know the converse is true as well: women should be able to play men's roles - but the dice fall where they may and the world is rather f**ked when it comes to gender-bending in the mainstream theatre - Lady Bracknell not withstanding.

i feel absolutely blessed that i've been granted the opportunity to do what i love in a city where doing what i love is so hard it's almost laughable.

so... yeah.

let's discuss!


'no, i just read it somewhere.'
- tom stoppard
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And I Love IT!

You have given us all much to read, think about and discuss, it is no doubt that when we launch this will become an excellent and popular topic. Thank you so much.

And don't you dare give up on your "unrealistic" dreams and acting desires "in these modern times". I see no reason why a talented enough "player" couldn't take on any role regardless of gender if they were the best one for it.

Lastly, although Shakespeare, the man himself, is long past, "renaissance" is not a one-time event. It comes around every 500 years or so.

And next time I need some stage advice, I'm coming and asking questions here!
Hey, Great topic, because "art" is expressed in so many ways and on so many levels. I love acting, and have the pleasure of exploring onstage in both male, drag, and female roles. What a kick to live the charmed life of not being pidgeon holed by gender. Whatever role I am given I really do try to bring truth to the piece. If I am playing a female role then it is my job to be believably female. I was lucky enough to be cast in Jane Campion's current film project, originally auditioning for a drag role. Jane saw beyond the make up and wig and wanted to see me in a hetero male role.HOORAY!!! I can do that, I am an actor after all. I ACT. I am currently putting the finishing touches on a play that opens this thursday AUG 29 called WHATEVER HAPPEND TO BEVERLY DANIELS. It's campy, BUT I am still playing FEMALE. I want to be believed as a woman. What a wonderful age we are in when I am actually called to audition for such a gamet of people and characters. Love the topic and can't wait for feedback.
Glad you joined us!

Just a FYI, all artists here are encouraged to create a topic about themselves and their "work", including actors, actresses and other perfomance artists ... I would love for you to do so if you're up to it (personally would love to learn more about your current film project, as well as, the upcoming play ... where/what time/how much?) Any links? Any pictures?

And, I agree, Betty did a great job authoring this topic! It is going to be a lot of fun.

Perhaps you would share with us what it's like being on set from both gender perspectives? (that could be pretty interesting ...)

Also, would love to get show reviews of both you and Betty, so if either of you have got a few fans out there, send them over here to give us some first-hand accounts of your work!
welcome sweetie - very very very glad you showed up here - you're exactly the kind of person i was hoping would show up here and share your experiences. congrats on your recent gigs!

pardon the lateness in my replying but i'm knee-deep, nay, make that neck-deep, in rehearsals and am doing my damdest to stay alive! - for anyone contemplating playing leads in TWO shows rehearsing at the same time - don't, it's REALLY stressful.

tonya, as far as i know the only motherboards person whose ever seen me act is Ms. Kitty Boots, who i invited as a guest so she could see the theatre in a misguided hope that it would serve as a new venue for 'click and drag' - god i miss that place. you'd have to ask her about what she thought.

at any rate i really hope that this forum can serve as a place where any of us who spend time pretending-to-be-other-people mouthing words-that-are-not-our-own can share our experiences.

so my first question is to sweetie: what exactly did you do in King Lear? was it in drag or en homme? excluding any gender stuff what was your experience doing Shakespeare?

fire away

'no, i just read it somewhere.'
- tom stoppard
I was given the privelidge of playing Lear. The show was set in 1980's clubland, with Lear the owner of the biggest Club in all the land. Lear, a decadent Drag Queen decides he wants to divide his club up between 3 protoge's or "daughters. Regan, an aspiring queen, Goneril, a social gadfly and coke head, and Cordelia, Lears modest, and ever faithful book keeper. I was in "HIGH BATTLE DRAG" up until Lears "MAD" monologue out in the storm (standing in traffic outside Port Authority) where I was completely stripped of my drag, and "naked" to the world, a balding, overweight, middle aged MAN.

Lear was a tremendous challenge, just learning the text alone, which we stuck to almost verbatim.
I had not done classical theatre since college, and was amazed how demanding a play of that proportion could be. I consider myself EXTREMELY competent when it come to learning lines and such, but I was "on book" until the bitter end, frightend out of my wits that it was too much for my pot ravaged brain to retain. I did it though, and also constantly obsessed over the fact I was playing a role intended for someone with many more years and life experiences than my 36. It was a wild ride, totally glad I did it, but also NOT looking for any more classical gigs for awhile.
D., my hairy, yet handsome, boy-in-tow, read this post out loud over my shoulder. He got a few chuckles out of it. He says your production sounds far more interesting than the recent film Titus (about which he is still bitter).

Personally, I am not into Shakespeare, (again see D. for all things of culture). And, I am sure such a confession will get me hanged by you and Betty as a capitol offence in this topic!

I am amazed at your ability to memorize all that text! Memorizing lines has always been a little difficult for me. But, no matter what acting I've done, I've not had to memorize Shakespeare!

D. says if there is a reprise, send us a note. Actually, I will add links to the references in your post above if I can find them, so folks find out more about you and your many projects. I know you are a frequent face found on these boards, but it seems ArtMaker is full of new folks.

Speaking of faces, did you try the September Make-over Poll? I am trying to come up with a new poll each month. If you think of a good 'theater' oriented poll topic let me know!!

Love this!
"I was in "HIGH BATTLE DRAG" up until Lears "MAD" monologue out in the storm (standing in traffic outside Port Authority) where I was completely stripped of my drag, and "naked" to the world, a balding, overweight, middle aged MAN."

Sounds amazing! But the trauma of it!! I can totally understand. Earlier this year I filled in for the villain part of a comedy sketch at the Collective Unconscious Theater with RevJen, Nick Zedd and Missy Galore, etc.) on female wrestlers. I've never really been cast as a villain, but I wanted to do the best job possible, so I came out spraying the audience in beer, sticking my hand in nasty places, etc. But those Lower East Side boys were vicious, one dumped a beer on my head and I had to make it through the match with my "HIGH BATTLE DRAG" (done Courtesy of Make-up Mania) with a beer soaked eyelash hanging from the corner of my eye!. "My outfit" came un-rigged! It was so not glamorous. And, was I ever sweating in the lights! It was really tough on my "glamour girl" nature. But I got a really great response...

I bet you got a standing ovation for the Lear performance, no?

[This message was edited by TonyaKnudsen on 09-07-02 at 05:00 AM.]
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good god am i in total agreement with you sweetie - and by corollary, tonya - shakespeare is a downright bitch to memorize

we open for a week or so of previews next week (thursday, sept 12th) and i'm STILL not completely off book! this thing is gonna give me one hell of an ulcer

we're setting Henry V in Vietnam which isn't nearly as fabulous as setting Lear in clubland but it might be interesting nonetheless - if anyone is interested in coming drop me a private email and i'll see what can be done re: cheap tickets

sweetie, i laughed at your not wanting to touch the "classics" for a while - after 5 years of nothing but "classics" i'm dying for a nice little modern role (preferably where i can wear some kick ass clothes and make up!)

peace to all


'no, i just read it somewhere.'
- tom stoppard
This starts in reply to those who wondered about my avatar. I am unashamed to admit it is not my creation. I found it trying to find unrelated topics while net surfing. As always, I am fascinated by those who are the creative types, able to think up variations of movement, sound, and visualization. Unfortunately, I am equally stumped when asked to show something of my own. I attended Interlochen Arts Academy for high school, and came to New York for Juilliard, all for dance. Even then, I knew I had no creative talent. I was an excellent dancer, but ask me to improve or choreograph, and I'll have a panic attack. In fact I did just that for my senior piece. This all leads to why I am here. I am a crude machine, capable of learning, assessing, and categorizing. Therefore, I am in the deepest of debts to those who make life enjoyable. I only wish to know the secrets of the universe, and leave its creation to others. I am watching you people.
Tonya, I look forward to meeting you on Halloween. Got your message, check your mail.
b.domination - by having stated quite frankly that you feel that you are not an artist it is in my humble opinion that you most definitely are.

helen (my wife) and i have seen you dance - you are extremely good at it, in short, you most definitely have talent which i think is all that is required.

people create or interpret art and sometimes those people call themselves "artists."

acting is the thing i do, but i've never felt comfortable calling myself an actor (for various reasons), i prefer "a person who acts" but that's my gig.

believe me, if there weren't playwrights to write the words and directors and talented designers to shape the worlds i inhabit i most definitely would NOT be in this business. i couldn't write creatively if my life depended on it!

i think that you and i are interpretive artists rather than genesis, i.e., creation, artists. meaning we take the art as it has been created and then interpret it for an audience. does that make sense?

at any rate, for what it's worth, you've got at least one person who thinks that you most definitely ARE an artist.


'no, i just read it somewhere.'
- tom stoppard
It's true that the interpreters (ie.performers) of a director or author and especially choreographer's creation often do not get the credit they deserve for the collaboration that happens when a production is brought to the stage. (Hello Momix!!!) More often than not the performers forget to pat themselves on the back for their creative contribution. So - yeah for the actor *pat*pat*...

Sweetie cannot be adored enough by her fans. I am always impressed by her shows and can't wait to see "Postman".

I must admit I have an "Importance of being Earnest" fetish and I am very curious to see you, Betty, perform as Algernon. So WHEN is it? Did we miss it? It's been way too long since I saw a good one.
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hey dirty martini... it's running in rep with "Henry V" so it's every other week basically. We'll start a new run this Friday until next Thursday and then off a week... hope that makes sense

here's a link to the schedule:

lemme know when you want to come and i'll get you 1/2 price tix

thanks for the interest and hope you can come!

'no, i just read it somewhere.'
- tom stoppard
Back at you over here in "Betty" topic.

How about Ernest on Fri, Nov. 29th? or Thursday Dec. 5th? Or how about Henry the 5th on Fri. Dec. 6th?

And in reply to Math!! (One of my faves!) Of course letters can be substituted for a "mathematical" value! It's the very reason I often substitute words of similiar length and meaning / dessonance for one another in writing a sentence without noticing. (NO need to understand that one, just call me weird.) In truth, Algebra is either where you begin to love or hate math. If you're a lover of it, someday you'll hit LIMITS and then it gets really interesting, almost musical, almost perfect.

As early as eighth grade, I was tutoring older kids in algebra and pretty good at it. Here's the root of the matter: you gotta LIKE the notion of letters and numbers at interplay together. To get there, suspend belief and just except what the example says, and let your mind go with it. (You don't have to understand it at first, eventually when the answers always work out, you'll understand that it works. That is belief enough.) And if you really don't get something, send me an email (or start a math topic!?) - I may be able to give you a way of looking at it that may help you solve the problem. More than math, I excel in views and visions that help people see answers.
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who never got back to me big grin, but I should have been more organized about getting together a group of curvy dancing girls to go see Shakespeare.

You can count on seeing me at one of the productions between the 1st and the 5th, am leaving for Iowa in an hour or so and won't get back until then, but ... should I get tickets now? will they sell out? lastly I thought I saw Betty for two seconds when I arrived at the Chritmas party, but did not see either of you the remainder of the night ... were you there?

And do they serve bud light at Shakespeare?

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