Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Paid To Cry

And so we enter the final week of Bouncers, the beginning of the end was last night at the Chelmsford Civic Theatre where we played to a full house of 500 people (with more of the same tonight, as we're doing a second night there).

500 people.

That's the biggest audience I've ever played I reckon, a sea of faces flooding out into the blackness, what a wonderful feeling to perform to and entertain that volume of people. They even gave us a standing ovation, yet it's still so hard to savour these moments until they are passed. I shall try my best tonight to bask in it, like a human shaped seal with a smack habit; gorging myself on applause until I pass out.

I ended up getting the train back to London with most of the audience which was weird, I felt quite famous as they furtively glanced at me, whispering; 'It's that bloke from the play...Are you sure it's him?'. One girl has the courage to approach me and ask me questions, I did my best to be nice. Most people just smiled and gave me the thumbs up. This time next week it'll be all over...

Jessica's comment in this post really hit a poetic nerve: paid to cry. She's right, although in the case of Bouncers it's paid to be funny and act hard. The past informs your range as an actor, where you can go inside yourself and everytime the tears have to flow you conjure those times you were smashed into the rocks and left for dead; re-living the moment again and again but this time without the blood.

Not so much crocodile tears but the scar tissue of a pain that never goes away, picking at the damaged flesh that has sealed over; dry humping your emotional exhaustion.

See you on the other side.


  1. It's got to be cathartic, being in a show that allows you to cry in public. We are so often asked to hide our grief that letting it out, even if it is only for "pretend", has to heal our hearts in some way. But, once it does, I guess we have to come up wit a different memory so that we con continue to cry on demand. The up side (sort-of) - in life, there is no shortage of things to cy about.

  2. As I tried to say in my post, you can keep mining the same fault line rather than one use and discard.

    Having said that, it's not a science.

  3. Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate:

    "Success" (audio link here)
    I can feel the thick yellow fat of applause building up in my arteries, friends.
    Yet I go on, a fool for adoration.
    Do I care that when it sloughs off it is likely to go straight to the brain?
    I am already showing the first signs of poetic aphasia—
    The words coming hard; the synapses of metaphor no longer connecting.
    But look at me, down on my knees next to the podium,
    Lapping the last drops,
    Then rolling in the stain like a dog,
    Getting the smell in my good tweed sportcoat,
    The grease on my suede elbow patches,
    And for what?

    Well, for the women I walk past the next morning,
    The ones in the terminal,
    Wheeling their luggage, looking so earnest,
    All for the hope that they will suddenly dilate their nostrils, squeeze the hard carry-on handles, and rise to the odor of praise
    With which I have basted myself,
    Stinking to heaven.

    Good stuff.

  4. You are an actor Dan and a bloody fine one at that... of .... it must be so hard to do it night after night trying to extract emotions and feelings but you did it and did it well...really well...Be proud Dan the Man.... ( Would I get cake with the tea?)

  5. Very true. Acting really revs up the emotions and you become those emotions for a time. It's quite exhausting, if it's done right, and involves a lot of soul-searching, too.

  6. I envy you. I'd love to tour again. I'm just sitting at home counting the flies in the kitchen. Mind you, when I did tour I missed sitting at home couting the flies at the kitchen.

  7. "like a human shaped seal with a smack habit"


  8. I really wish I could see you perform sometime. you've gotten me curious, now.


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