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The Strut That Would Not Die

Earlier this week, as I walked into the theater for that evening's performance of The Tragedy of He-Manlet, Prince of Eternia (for which I'm running lights & sound), the bartender - drinking at the theater's bar, her shift not yet begun - looked over at me and grinned, "I like your swagger."

Oh. Geez. That.

"Thanks," I mumbled, feeling a self-conscious flush.

So. There's a story there.

In high school I always went out for the twice-yearly school plays. One of the two most memorable roles I ever had was as Kenicke in Grease. (Yep, I got to sing "Greased Lightning" in front of an audience at 18.) And the other - still one of my favorite roles of all time, ever - was Orin Scrivello, the Dentist, in Little Shop of Horrors.

And I recall that for one of these roles - probably the Dentist, but it could have been for either - the director stopped us in rehearsal after a scene and said that when I came on for the first time, he'd like me to walk in with a strut.

Oh! Sure, I can do that. I like getting direction. But (and I fumbled with my words, trying to figure out my question): What does that mean? And he, possibly baffled, tried to explain.

Um. Okay. Er ... but what does that look like?

Well, he tried to convey, you maybe do this with your arms, and this with your legs. And we'll try it again.

So we started the scene, and I walked in, trying to do what he described.

STOP! No, now you just look constipated. Never mind, we'll move on.

And so it went, until a couple of days later when I was walking to school, via the shortcut I took through the not-yet-built neighboring subdivision. And as I walked past the enormous mounds of bulldozed earth in the early dawn - with easy mind, laidback demeanor, the sounds of The Cure likely piped in from my Walkman - I took casual note of my lengthening stride, and the increased arcs my swinging arms took.


And that afternoon in rehearsal, I showed the director. Is this what you meant?

YES! That's it exactly. Do that every time!

And I did.

But the thing of it is - apparently I never learned how to turn it off!


So, uh. Yes. That.

I'm ridiculous, is all I can say.

But, then, you probably knew this. :P


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2017 02:48 pm (UTC)
You rock!

Just when I was contemplating a life without LJ, you reappear.
Sep. 2nd, 2017 07:31 pm (UTC)
but that isn't how you walk when you are walking next to another person. so the way to turn it off is to pretend that you're trying to match someone else's stride, perhaps?
Sep. 2nd, 2017 10:57 pm (UTC)
Well, I suppose the non-glib way of expressing it is that (obviously) it does turn off; if I'm thinking about my walk, or it's modified by walking with someone etc., it doesn't turn "on".

It's more that when I'm walking by myself, and lost in thought, it's stupidly easy for that to start happening without my intent. ;)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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