Our brilliant producer, Claire, asked me, as a performer, what the difference is between film-work and stage-work. The first thing that hit me is that film is so dang quiet.
Let me explain.
Due to the fact that I’m a large actress who has (I have been told) a touch of comedic timing, I tend to get cast in roles that could be defined as “funny” or the “comedic relief”. When you're performing on stage, you know if those jokes are landing or not because the audience provides that traditional appreciation of humor in the form of laughter. I love laughter. I’m a real sucker for having a roomful of people laugh at something dumb I’ve done. It makes me feel like I’ve added something positive to the world when people laugh. Like I've left the place I’ve been better than it was before and it costs me nothing.
If you know anything about (most) film, though, you don't have a studio audience. You have your fellow actors who, if they're worth their salt*, aren’t breaking on every take. Your director and crew (who are sometimes one and the same when working with an "independent" budget) are focused on the scene as a whole and, well, can’t afford to laugh and ruin a take just to make your insecure butt feel better.
Splintering off from that thought, the other thing that is different about film work is the kind of trust needed to do this work. If you have no perspective on yourself as a performer (and, I’m sorry, but what performer does, really?), you have to TRUST that your fellow actors will be there to help convey the story and deliver those jokes with you and that the director will not use the take where you totally flubbed that line and the punchline didn’t land. That is, unless me screwing up the line is really, really hilarious. I can live with that.
I guess what I'm getting at is, at this point in time, I have no idea if I’m funny or not in this premiere episode, and that is terrifying. But also strangely exciting. Considering the talent and hard work of everybody around us, though, I trust that you’re going to have a real good time watching 2 Redheads in 4 days. And maybe have a few laughs.
*The only exception to this is the incomparable fellow redhead Carol Burnett. Carol and the rest of her cast on her eponymous show turned breaking into an art form. The rest of you are just lazy comics. Sorry, yo.