Posted by A Quiet Man with a Loud Voice | Labels: , , , | Posted On Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 11:56 PM

Did you know only 10% of Deaf people have Deaf parents?

When I heard that statistic at rehearsal on Thursday, I seriously though that was an error on the instructor's part. I mean, doesn't that seem a little low? After rehearsal, when I arrived back home, the first thing I did was double check that statistic using the modern day encyclopedia - Google.

And fuck me if it ain't true.

90% of Deaf people have hearing parents. NINETY PERCENT.

This is a good example of how personal experience can cloud your judgment. My father suffers from a hearing loss, so I just assumed it was a natural thing for people with hearing problems to be born mostly to parents with similar genetics.

Shows how much I know.

This statistic, and many others, made up the bulk of the beginning of rehearsal as Nancy Resh and Carol Robinson gave a quick lecture on Deaf culture to those of us unfamiliar with . We were also given a quick lecture on the author of For Every Man, Woman, and Child, Willy Conley, a longtime friend of Carol's.

After our lesson on the strange and mysterious ways of the Deaf, we moved into blocking. Scene two utilizes almost everyone in the cast, which is going to make for some challenging staging. It's a lot of bodies onstage at once...

The most intriguing aspect? Doubling all of the roles so every role has both a hearing and Deaf actor performing it at the same time. I have no idea if this will actually work, but right now it's utterly fascinating to watch.

There's not much else to report from rehearsal this week, though at the end Dan requested that I come in on Monday with gestures planned out for all of Death's actions during scene one and two. After some thought, I completed these today and will be playing around with them on Monday to see how they work. I was also informed that I can make these gestures as big as I want - and that I should be aiming for comedy.

I love comedy. There's just something liberating about the chance to throw oneself around stage like a maniac just to get a few laughs.

Back in 2003, in the production of Much Ado About Nothing, I modeled Dogberry's walk after Yosemite Sam. By the end of the production my knees were completely shot - I spent three days just lying in a bathtub filled with warm water and epsom salts. At various points during the production I almost threw out my back thrashing around like an idiot.

But people loved it!

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."
-George Carlin

People will always laugh at the expense of others. Always, always, always, always.

Back when I was assisting directing Puss in Boots, I remember telling one of the kids to loosen up and she told me that she was worried about looking dumb onstage during a comedic part of the show. My response? No matter what, you're going to look dumb onstage. But once you accept it - you're going to be funny as hell.

It's schadenfreude, baby.


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