Last night, I got a ride home from rehearsal. My castmate paid me a great compliment when he said, “You play Hedy very real.”
That’s exactly what I was going for! I think Hedy’s charm and beauty, and her humor, lie in the fact that she just plain means it. She’s just plain ditzy. She’s just plain sexy. She’s just plain gonna pull a few shrewd (harmless) punches to get what she wants. She’s darling! I’ve fallen in love with her. She’s sincere. I don’t want her to be a caricature.
It’s the last thing I wrote in my journal 8 days ago. I never write there anymore. You are my journal, Virtual Faceless Public. That’s just a food tracker these days.
“It’s so easy to play for laughs,” I wrote. “I’ve always wanted to be seen as funny. But honest is funny. Hedy doesn’t mean to be funny. She means it! And that’s funny.”
So… Now that I’ve succeeded in establishing that piece of this beautiful girl I love, I get to PLAY!!! I get to add character. I’ll continue to do my homework and get her accent as close to authentic something-outta-New-York as I can (I’ve never even been back East), but let’s face it: It’s suburban Utah. A caricature-ish version of Brooklynese will serve. What I most look forward to playing with are her juicy layers! All of her reasons, her fears. I will live her laughs large, but never milk them to the point of pulling focus or being anything other than the wonderful, outrageous, hilarious, sensuous, ambitious girl she is!
Remember when I was an ungrateful twenty year-old tired of the same old part? (Boo hoo, pretty ingenue.) Hedy is why! She’s so fun! I love worrying about her. I feel alive again. “Ugh,” I complained sixteen years ago when I turned my back on show. “Maybe I’ll get back into theatre when I’m forty and the parts are interesting.” (Yeah, I wanna smack that kid, too, bless her heart.) Forty Fabulous Forty!