How goes it?
Everything is fine over here. I have some good days. Some not so good. I’m okay though.
GLOW, The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the show I costar in with Alison Brie, is premiering this Friday. Wild, right? I can’t believe it’s finally going to be on. Seems like years ago that we shot it. Tomorrow, Tuesday, I will be appearing on The Today Show and on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. That’s provided the world doesn’t end or something else awful doesn’t happen. See, like that sentence. Why can’t I just tell you what is happening without undercutting it with some awful, if not the worst, possible scenarios. I’ll tell you why I can’t. It’s 2017 and that’s the way shit is.
That aside it’s all very exciting. I really like the feeling of having been involved with an amazing ensemble cast in a project I had nothing to do with other than as an actor. There’s nothing weighing me down right now as it is about to premiere. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? People say I suck? Who cares. It was fun to do and it looks great. The reviews have been pretty ridiculously amazing. So, I’m thrilled and curious to see how people respond to it.
I’m excited for William Shakespeare too. He seems to be having a moment. It’s not all him or his work. It’s due to the fact that there are these right-wing guerilla theater troupes and performance artists that are just getting the hang of disruptive performance. I think all art is good art on some level. It may stink as art, but people expressing themselves because they can and we have the freedom to do so is exciting and provocative and adds to the cultural and political dialogue and the advancement of society.
It’s unfortunate that most of the creativity in the performance art of the right just seems to be to bully and eradicate the creativity of others. Even if it’s a classic piece of brilliant literature by one of the greatest literary minds of all time. And I’m not even that big a fan. The fundamentally hollow and proudly dumb display of theatrical disruption of Julius Caesar last week by some right-wing performance artists was only good in that it brought attention to the play, which I hear is amazing. The performance artist's action was fairly tragic guerilla theater and indicative of a complete misunderstanding of the point of the play. In order to make Shakespeare relevant, especially Julius Caesar, which is really THE play about politics, directors set it where they need to set it to make it comprehensible to modern audiences. There have been versions with depictions of modern-day politicians, including other American presidents, as long as the play has existed. I just saw a production of Othello set in a military barracks. It’s how you make the Bard comprehensible to new audiences like me. I have a hard time understanding Willy the Shake if it isn’t framed anew. I guess the performance artist who interrupted didn’t quite get that it was deeper than a depiction of our current president and that the central theme of the show is that democracy is fragile, the rule of law is paramount, and when you violate it you get chaos. Well, actually, if she wanted to further illustrate that point, she’s brilliant. I don’t think that was her intention. It was much more blunt and shallow than that. I get her tactics though.
Art and theater can be crass, horrifying, beautiful, funny, morally dubious, disturbing, abstract, poetic, etc. It can be political, personal, ridiculous, whatever. It is essential and must flourish at all costs, even at the costs of losing sponsors. Keep it real. Keep it with the people. The new guerilla theater and performance art coming from the right is about stifling expression and it is not ironic. Meet it with art that transcends and is brave.
I’ll tell you what I’d like to see. A tight, empathetic one act about the people that set out to disrupt Julius Caesar. Maybe set in a hotel room or an apartment the day of the play. Get on it. Don’t over write it. Feel it out.
Today on the show I talk to my amazing co-stars from GLOW, Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin about acting and what it’s like to work with me. Jk. Kinda. On Thursday, I talk to Sofia Coppola about her amazing new film ‘The Beguiled.’ Great talks!