The Bad News - I'm Psychotic...
I've been worried since the beginning. Now, I know why.
Or, at least, another reason why.
The day: Saturday, April 10, 2004
The time: Approximately 9:30pm
The place: The stage of the Newport Theater Arts Center
(CAUTION: The following bit contains spoilers to "Something to Hide"! So, if you haven't seen the show yet, you might want to pass this by until later!)
Karen (the actress Christi Sweeney) is threatening to tell all to the police and I (Howard) have to stop her. I grab her hand as she holds the phone in it and pull it away. She pulls back.
Now, there's a kind of schizophrenia that happens when you're performing. There's your performing self, the character, which is about 80% of your (my) thoughts. This is the part that remembers the lines without you thinking of them. This is the part that you've developed and, for all intents and purposes, you are that person. Then, there's another 20% way back in the back of your head: yourself. And you watch everything that's going on, almost like an observer, like an air-traffic controller, a witness.
She pulled back and I slammed her hand, with the phone still in it, onto the desk. The observer thought, "Wow. She must have done that, because there certainly wasn't any resistance.
Then, a few minutes later, I grab her by the wrists and push her into a chair. She's fighting back but I'm holding on. She's fighting back much harder than I've ever felt and, as the scene comes to its climax, I realize that I've completely lost my tempter. I'm totally out of control. It's only when the mere 20% realizes this that I'm able to collect myself for my next line. Any longer, I think, and god knows what I would have done to her.
She'd been saying for the past week that, during that scene, I really look like I'm enjoying being evil.
Howard is, but I'm not. I am so not enjoying it.
Off stage, we're at intermission, I ask Karen, "Was I a little rough out there."
"A little rough." she replies.
"But that was really cool what you did with your hand."
"What do you mean?"
"When you slammed it down. It made it look like I did that."
She looked at me and I could see she wasn't hurt but she was confused. "You did do that."
"Oh my god. I'm so sorry."
"It's okay. The bleeding has mostly stopped." And she raised her hand to me to show me. I'd slammed her hand down so hard, I busted the skin.
She left and I went outside (to a private corner we have). I kneeled down. I thought I was going to throw up but I didn't.
She didn't mention it again but I apologized many times.
I can't wait for this show to be over.