Friday, 17 October 2014

The Bedbug by Vladimir Mayakovsky


2012 The Bedbug by Vladimir Mayakovsky from Caitlin Hill on Vimeo.

2012, Caitlin Hill with the First Year Adv. Dip. of Arts (Acting) Students of Southbank Institute of Technology/Brisbane TAFE for The Bedbug by Vladimir Mayakovsky.
The Bedbug is a huge challenge for any actor. How do you take such dated language or jokes of another culture that can't hide behind a labels like Shakespearean, Restoration, or Moliere?

The issues of The Bedbug are still hot, it's also important to reflect on capitalism and communism and the dire faults of each theory. However, when it is wrapped up in very specific jokes that were even hard to digest in 1920s Russia, how do you make it work for modern audiences? I DON'T KNOW. I tried. Zoya goes from being a young woman to being an old woman within a few scenes. I tried to capture the essence of being elderly without relying on makeup, costumes or a stereotypical old person voice. It was very difficult. Sometimes I watch this and I can see what I was aiming for and other times it is an utter failure, but I don't regret it because I learned so much during this process.
This production is part of our First Year assessment.

2 comments:

taktin said...

Caitlin,

I noticed Frezned had privatized all his videos so I had to make sure you still existed. You do.

In the next week or so, I'm making a decision whether or not to produce a new Youtube channel starring a would-be Mexican beauty and lifestyle guru. I've done a ton of research in the last month, and from what I can tell, you needn't be funny or even attractive to succeed; you must only follow a rather dull and inane content formula and have better production value than the other people following it. That's not to say that the formula doesn't take work. It does. But despite the investment being almost certainly worse than blue chip stocks, I'm fascinated enough in filmmaking and brandmaking that simply breaking even (on average) with that sliver of hope for wild upside might be worth my while.

Looking into successful formulae on Youtube has got my mind on the video creation process as much as on the content, and it now takes something special to immerse myself fully in the world of the storyline. I wonder if you've encountered that issue: I mean, you know how as a kid you'd watch a movie and your own life would dissolve away completely, you no longer even really existed, so spellbinding was the world on screen? It was many years before I could even evaluate the quality of a film, because well, you don't go about your actual life evaluating how well it's being presented to you, right? No, that would be the opposite type of crazy, and you never struck me as that.

I wonder if it's for that reason that not many folks transition from film to stage. You get spoiled by perfectly placed mics, cameras that tell you exactly where to look, and theatre feels so... weak in comparison. That sounds as silly to you as calling painting flat compared to sculpture, but there are so many more dimensions to the comparison for me: there are no subtitles, you can't rewind and repeat, you can't edit, the performers are supposed to look every bit as fresh the 1000th time around, instead of giving us their #1 try out of 100. I am a horrid cook, though I'm about to try again in a minute, and it recently occurred to me that cooking and theatre are the only two art forms that are completely uncapturable. To which the post I'm presently commenting on attests. The only exception I can recall was this beautiful rendition of Beckett's 'What Where', which is right up your alley and you should see it IRL - but Youtube deleted it.

You'll pardon my phillistinism, but I must ask if you have any thoughts at all on how best I can make my big decision. Beauty guru viewership numbers tread water for a year and a half minimum, so despite the production being entirely Mexico-based, it's a very big investment for me. I wouldn't ask if I knew a single other person with credibility in the space. You seem like too busy a bee for this internet nonsense these days, and I suspect that whatever you're doing in the world is actually quite valuable in at least a local sense. And I try to tread gingerly on the free time of people like that, until I can join them. But your input would be considered in whether or not to light a new candle on Youtube that you will never witness (unless you are fluent in Spanish and need a new idea for Halloween in 2017).

I took your advice without having watched the video in which you gave it, and went out and 'touched' real people, in the appropriate ways. Unfortunately the real world has nothing but bells and whistles, it seems, and I haven't found many more people that I've liked.

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