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Memorial Day Drama

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Sometimes I am too poor to see a play on Broadway.  Sometimes I am too poor to see a play off-Broadway, or at an off-off-Broadway theatre, or in the basement of Two Boots Pizza.  Sometimes I am too poor to watch a movie in the theatre, or to get a netflix, or an on demand film.  It is at these times that I resort to good old-fashioned network television'before my cable gets shut off.

Here are some things I learned about drama from watching the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy that I title:  Ways to act good.

Though the finale was a couple of weeks ago, I am just now processing their genius in a way that I can use.  Consider using these techniques at your weekend holiday festivities in and around the city.  If there is one thing this city needs, it’s more drama.

Have an under-bite
Nothing says '˜I am serious’ like acting with an extreme under-bite.  The good thing is you can have a perfectly normal bite at one moment, and then pop that lower jaw out at any moment for some serious drama.  Immediately, people know you mean business. Watch out doctors your mouth might stay that way!

This technique has been overused by actors'myself included.  The cast of GA takes it to the limit.  At times their pauses take away from them actually making sense'at all.


Make your voice wayayayver
Kids master this technique at a young age.  I still use it every once in a while.

Repeat yourself
Pick words and repeat them'ad naseum.
An example below from Grey’s Anatomy.  Feel the drama.

'œYou think that a successful career is going to make you happy? You think you know things? You know things and nothing else matters. No one else matters. People do matter. I matter. We '” we matter.'

Move in slow motion
This one is guaranteed to get a reaction.  Pull it out whenever you need some drama'like at your Memorial Day picnic, for example.  Watch out when you are around grandma and grandpa '“ I have found that sometimes they don’t know if you are moving more slowly or if time is speeding up.  It can be very disorienting for them'but dramatic nonetheless!

Sigh audibly
The go-to for any actor.  Everybody knows, if you don’t know what you are saying'breathe'loudly'. and constantly. And as always'repeat!

Tears tears tears
Having moist eyes, whipping up some streaming tears or just sobbing are all viable options. For a more advanced route, try taking a page from Demi Moore’s book (a la Ghost) who mastered the look-up-one-eye-only-full-of-tears-which-spills-down-the-cheek-dramatically look.  This one takes practice!

Have a girl kiss a girl
This technique has become the basis of an entire story line in Grey’s Anatomy this year.  It is always a crowd pleaser.  End of story.

And finally, when in doubt:

Douse yourself in blood

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Christine Witmer - Sparing Stringer

Christine Witmer - Sparing Stringer

Christine was born and raised in the land of the Pilgrims, Plymouth, Massachusetts. She turned in her buckled shoes when she moved to NYC to attend NYU. From that esteemed University she received her BFA in theatre as well as a Master's Degree in Performance Studies in 2004.
Now an actor, writer and broke ass day-jobber, Christine juggles her many personas with the elegance of a red panda. specifically the one in the Prospect Park Zoo . . . soooooo cute! She can be found most often in her own habitat on the Northside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.