A Rough Beginning
The show has come to a close … and what a trip it’s been^_^. Closer was a year in the making – I was the third Alice to be casted, and Simon was the second Dan. When I was approached about the role back in February..or was it March? .. I had been out with my old director celebrating whatever it is we find to celebrate, in her favorite pub downtown. Suddenly I am whisked in between the arms of Stevie (my Streetcar director) and Rach, Closer‘s director. They want me to do the role. Already I am shaking my head because I know that I had already decided not to audition for the role because ….well, have you seen the movie??? Playing a stripper was not something I wanted to do in order to expand my acting capabilities. Stevie and Rach told me to think about it and sent me home to watch the movie.
I realized then who played Alice and almost right away I wanted to pick up that phone and say yes. Natalie Portman is by far one of my favorite actresses. She is a rare find, she is the woman who can weave in and out of an array of characters without breaking a sweat. So of course I had to BE Natalie Portman.
Day 1 I felt like the new kid in school…unsure of what I had walked into, a close-knit group of people who had been doing this for a while now. And here I was, no lines memorized and blankly staring at the script that wasn’t alive to me yet. It took a trip to a Korean BBQ place for us to just sit around and discuss the work. What can I say? I’m an English Lit major, it’s in my blood to try and dissect the work into oblivion.
Becoming Alice was hard, she was the furthest thing from me and yet the most realistic character I’ve played. Some of you may remember how hard playing Stella was, a southern accent was hard to get into and took a few hours prior to the show for me to sound as ‘natural’ as I did. What helped were the wigs (another reason I resolved to do the role lol). The wigs helped me become someone else, and for a bit I was this person who was hurt, cold, endlessly desired love, and used her sexuality to protect herself and get what she wanted.
Putting a show together can be the hardest thing imaginable. Working with such a small cast doesn’t help, and we had to use our networking skills and connections to truly make this show happen. Though it is chaos, though it made me into a walking zombie, there is nothing like the beauty of having something come into fruition on the blood, sweat and tears of dedicated and talented people. Sounds sick… but I’m telling you, you can hear the sigh of relief and content when the show ends and the lights call us for our last bows.
Whether it was being locked out of the theater the morning of the show, or wanting to smash my keyboard after having so many issues with online ticket reservations … these are moments that make the show what it is. You watch us up there, and hopefully we look put together with our makeup delicately caked on our faces, the lights shining just at the perfect angle to create a feeling we wish you to feel, and our lines hopefully said so naturally that you don’t notice a look of fear flicker in our eyes when we realize we’ve skipped a whole page and someone have to go back to relay the important lines we’ve missed.
I leave you with a quote I’ve looked back on various times through this experience of bringing Closer to the Daegu stage. It was an interview with Natalie Portman in regards to her performance in Black Swan.
Given how much pain went into the performance, and how much Portman now stands to gain from it, we couldn’t help asking if maybe, just maybe, sacrificing yourself for your art does pay off in the end? “Exactly,” she said, with something like a coy smirk in her voice. “The glory, the glory.”