Thursday, March 16, 2006

Subscriber #1

I am told that there is something about answering questions that makes people want to join in. I don't think we are quite at the point where all we are going to do is run profiles but someone made a special request. And since she is a woman and we like women better than men here at the Rorschach Blog it was hard for me to say no. I have trouble mostly because I have been having trouble forming the letter n lately with my mouth. Emily Compton was one of the first if not the first to send in her money for her season subscription to Rorschach. She also has either the privilege or curse of knowing Randy Baker for a good long while. Thankfully she has not picked up the bad habit of writing the first chapter of War and Peace when answering these questions.

I know you may not know her, but she is kind of a sweetie and a faithful reader of this blog. And with that loyalty comes benefits. Remember this blog is open to everyone who loves Rorschach, whether you are performer, artist or audience member we want to hear from you. This time it was Emily, next time it could be you. Be sure to follow the Gollum and Adama links. Enjoy!

1. Place of birth?

Nashville, TN. No, really, y'all.

2. First experience in theatre?

In 8th grade we did The Hobbit for school and I was Gollum. My entrance was from a trap door at down center. In the dress rehearsal I flipped up the trap door, and as I was jumping up through the hole, the lid WHAM slammed down on my head. So I tried again and WHAM it slammed down on my head again. I opened the lid again and the teachers shouted "Stop, stop!" so they could fix the trap door. Getting whacked on the head. That's what I love about theatre.

3. Where you went to school?

Randy Baker's alma mater, University of Richmond. My senior year I lived in HOCWA, an on-campus apartment. Randy and his friends named it HOCWA, which meant "House of Crazy Women". We called Randy and his friends The Finks, which meant "Immature while we girls were never immature at all." The Finks lived off-campus at Stonewall Jackson's Ass, at the corner of Monument & Boulevard.

4. What do you do?

I am an Equity Stage Manager. But then I became a lawyer. Here's what I have learned: Actors, with their colleagues, are courteous, punctual, and respectful of each others' work. Attorneys, with their colleagues, are demanding, tardy, and obnoxious to each other. And it's a crazy system we're in, where the most obnoxious attorneys live in the nicest unaffordable apartments, and the most talented dedicated actors and artists feeding their student loan debts bear the burden of telling stories of truth and beauty so the system doesn't drive us crazy.

5. What was your first experience with Rorschach?

Spring 1994, Professor Louis Schwartz's Paradise Lost reading. Randy and I were in Schwartz's Intro to Renaissance Literature survey course, and he invited his students to his house on a Saturday to read Paradise Lost aloud. The 400-year-old text is astonishingly alive... and the moments when Adam and Eve eat the apple after 7 hours of poetry could not possibly be more theatrical. For actual Rorschach stuff, I attended a Hairy Ape read-thru. And I was at the Rhinoceros tech in that sweaty rooftop greenhouse--I did some line-coaching and light-hanging and some real heavy-duty lurking.

6. Company member you would most like to be if you were not yourself?

Jenny. I admire her ability to wrangle Randy. If not Jenny, then, of course, Rahaleh, obviously.

7. Some story about working on a Rorschach play that either made you laugh or touched you deeply?

I think the story of Rorschach's production of J.B. is quite poignant. I was in California at the time. I'm very sorry to have missed J.B., but like most of its audience, my impression is that it was too much theatre hurting too much at exactly the right time. And I can't imagine how Rorschach went on with the show -- it was a brave thing to have done.

8. Where do you think Rorschach will be in the next ten years?

Let me put it this way: If the Cylons attacked, Rorschach would be stowed away on a mining vessel grabbing bits of space debris and fracking making theatre out of it, and Admiral Adama would do that slow-clap thing.

9. What is your favorite Rorschach show that you were not in?

It's a toss-up: Behold! which I liked because the text and characters and staging seem to have developed so organically out of Rorschach's unique situation. But also, Family Stories, wow, I mean, you know, wow.

10. Scott McCormick harmless adolescent or world conquering supervillain?

Super villain. Ask me a hard one.

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