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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monologue from Brandywine Distillery Fire - An Actor's Actor

In early September, you may remember, I wrote and co-produced a play called Brandywine Distillery Fire, directed by Michael Gardner and created with a wicked and brilliant ensemble. In almost every review, a particular speech was picked out as notably performed (rightly so) and notably written. As the play isn't as yet published, I thought maybe I'd share the speech here. It's a fun speech, maybe good for an audition or two. I think, for certain, actor's will appreciate it. It was written for Alexis Sottile, and so it bears her name.

Enjoy!

Alexis

I am an actor’s actor. I do all sorts of subtle things on stage that other actor’s appreciate. To them, perhaps, I’m almost transparently skilled. You might not realize what I’m doing, it might not be clear to you immediately, it might never become clear. To those of you in the audience tonight that have ever been on stage, though, I know you know what I’m up to. I know you see what I’m doing right now, and that you have tremendous respect for it. That you admire it.

Pause.

You might be thinking “She’s trying to appear almost as if she’s not acting at all, a sort of less-is-more with a dash of heightened emotion.” That would almost be true, if I weren’t so calculating though laconic. You might be imagining that behind my eyes is a complex series of motivations. No, no. It’s less than that and more.

Pause.

Look here. See this area of my face? You didn’t even think about the effect it has on the rest of your experience with my face. You can’t imagine how important this zone can be. There’s this book that only the actors here have heard of, a book called The Uneasy, which is by a Taiwanese child prodigy. That book highlights the importance of this area of the face. It is also known, far and wide, as the definitive text on sotto voce.

Pause.

Actors see what I’m doing and know I’ve read that book. Actors see what I’m doing and they see the cagey way I circle a line and then attack when you least expect it. Actors envy, perhaps, my wicked way around a verb, the way I slide adjectives around my teeth, the way I seem to pull new nouns out of old ones. You might not. That’s why I’m not even really doing this with you in mind. You’re there, I see you. About as well as you see me.

2 comments:

Ellen said...

Matthew, I haven't set foot on stage in nearly 4 years and can't even forsee when it will happen again. But this is so awesome I'm putting it in my "monologue" file ...just in case. And I know for sure no one else in Birmingham Frigging Alabama will have done it right before me.

Freeman said...

Thanks so much! I'd be very happy to hear that you used it!