11 April 2007

Cry Me a River, Emo Boy

You think Rivers Cuomo "broke up" Weezer because the unflattering tag of "Emo" was applied to the band, which started as a sort of garage-band flavored pop sensation in the latter era of alterna-rock? That Emo crap bugs me. Not the supposed lifestyle--which, really, has had many different names through the ages, including "angst"--but the way the label seems to be applied to any kind of vaguely depressive or introspective subculture. Like being thought of as "Goth" in high school because I was creepy and wore black all the time. Which is . . . well, Goth. It's Goth as f%#k, actually, but let's understand the artist's intention before we rip him a new one with labels, shall we?

Speaking of which, A Lie of the Mind has been reviewed. Yes it has. (Friend Nat passed it along.) And it is a goodly review, as far as the show is concerned. You must believe me when I say that I feel the slander of my performance is deserved for the job I did last Wednesday night, though inaccurate in specifics. I claim it, and so my next claim should hold more water: The review reads like it was written by a twelve-year-old. Think I'm exaggerating? Lie thy judgments yon.

Having a bad review is a burden, but in this case one easily shaken off by a variety of factors:
  1. Feeling I deserved no praise for all the mistakes I made in that particular performance.
  2. The critic obviously devoting about ten minutes to the writing of it (at least it's spell-checked).
  3. Friends.

Oui: Friends. In my days off from the show (glad to be getting back to it tonight, though slightly anxious about having sufficient audience to justify the effort), I have spent time with a number of friends, the which it can be hard to find time with even when I'm not embroiled in a rehearsal process. Sunday I met with Friend Adam for catching up on "Heroes" episodes and talking about superheroes(TM) and comedy, then adjourned to Harlem for dinner with Friend Patrick. Monday brought me to dinner with Friend Dessida (of Friend Kate fame), and last night I saw Friends Geoff and Melissa.

Each friend brought me something I needed without knowing it. Adam brought me indulgent joy by creating a space in which geeking out is not only allowed, it's encouraged. Patrick brought me so many, many things, not the least of which were several excellent books to read now that I'm (pretty much) line-perfect for the show. (Incidentally, if you ever get curious about what it's like to be an actor in the process of interpreting a great character, read Antony Sher's account of portraying Richard III: Year of the King. The only bad thing is how envious you may get about how one man can contain so many well-developed talents.) Dessida brought me new insights into art and life. Melissa brought me unrestrained joy and some time to meditate upon life paths (plus a little more information on what she expects of me in my joining the ranks of Kinesis for a project this summer, which was a relief and terror all rolled in one). And Geoff, as always, brought me beer(s). And questions. Which are always good.

I can only hope I brought each of these people something they needed half as much as I've needed them.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad the review did little to rattle you;
a. because you're better than that,
b. I can't afford to come up there and kick some guys ass and still make it up in time for your b-day. Not saying I won't lay the smack down on his ass when i do come up, b/c I'm rolling deep friend.

Jeff Wills said...

Am I? A few days later I caved and read the rest of the reviews (mostly 'blogged) and the combined weight rattled me pretty good. It's interesting how inhibiting other people's opinions can be to feeling artistically fulfilled.

We could rumble with the whole nytheatre.com crew. Sharks n' Jets style!

Melissa said...

Glad to help in the joy and paths department
you helped me in just the same way - good to laugh at ridiculous men in tights, and then walk a little deeper before heading home...
And I'm down and with ya'll for the smackdown when ever it might occur.

Jeff Wills said...

Yes, Mel. It occurred to me on our walk that we were doing exactly what inspired "Right Before You Fell," which was cool. Maybe when I dance for you this summer we should include projections of Lloyd going for a walk in the city and falling down a lot.

I like to fall down.