Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

January 24, 2011 at 1:33pm

From Watergate to Waterloo

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A TLT PATRON PASSES JUDGEMENT >>>

As you've probably seen me mention a few squillion times, I'm playing Bob Zelnick in Tacoma Little Theatre's production of Frost/Nixon. As is commonplace for TLT and many other troupes, the producers served champagne(ish) and cake for those patrons who were able to attend opening night. The cast and crew shook hands with and fielded questions from our valued guests, but mostly we just hovered near the cake.

I've been to dozens of these affairs over the years, and while it's certainly fulfilling to celebrate one's accomplishments with people who just paid cash money to see them, the inevitably oddball questions can get a bit wearying. By far the most frequent question asked is, "How did you learn all those lines?" Memorization of lines is the first step in most actors' processes, so this is rather like summoning your chef after a delicious meal and inquiring how she located the fridge.

Anyway, God bless TLT patrons, and I'm honestly pleased they enjoyed the show. We enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, showing it, and most of their questions were sharp, insightful, and relevant--rather more so, you understand now, than I've come to expect. Until...

She was tall and elegant. I don't know her name, and I obviously wouldn't tell you what it was if I did--but she approached with a sweet smile, taking both my hands in hers. "Oh, that was just marvelous," she sighed. "We really enjoyed that." I thanked her profusely. "And that gentleman playing Richard Nixon," she continued. Steve Tarry, I agreed. He's amazing. "We've seen him in other things before, but this was so tremendous. And some of the others actors were just..." She caught her breath. "Exceptional!"

This was going quite well, don't you think? My hands were still nestled gently in hers.

"And you," she concluded, tilting her head and gazing at me with the soothing air of a woman charged with bearing truly awful news, "have you done much acting before?"

THUD.

"A little," I managed weakly, then trudged away to seek the more reassuring company of ex-President Nixon and his partners in crime. 

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma, Theater,
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