Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Line

So I went to see Walk the Line tonight. I really enjoyed it. Interestingly and well acted, a capitivating story although if I had to articulate what captivated me it would sound shallow and ridiculous. I'm sure people more eloquent than I will say all that really needs to be said about the movie as a whole. And, of course, since a blog is all about the writer, let's talk about what happened to me in the movie.

There was this one small repeated moment between Cash and his guitarist. They set up early on that the guitarist tells Cash how to tune his guitar and play certain specific chords. So, at least twice during performance shots Cash will start a song then hit the break and turn to his guitarist. It's very slight but I read a glance of encouragement from the guitarist and then Cash turns back to the mic and the next chorus is always stronger. We don't see a lot else of the relationship between the two of them but it spoke so directly to me. I loved that we could see how important the support was to Cash and I love that feeling when you're collaborating. When you try something and you're not sure of yourself and you have someone you trust to just give a glance to and they bolster you.

The other thing was the performance at Folsom Prison. Man, I miss working in prisons! Not that I've done a lot of it but I've done a few things and you really can't ask for a more honest audience. Teenagers are a tough audience, they'll really help you hone what's worthwhile in what you're offering but they aren't exactly honest. When I was in college I did a short internship with a last chance high school, playing theatre games with trouble makers. The outfit also took all of the interns to a women's house of detention to do a workshop there. Then, when I was at school in London we performed a set of Shakespeare scenes at Wandsworth prison. We were all nervous, and the best actress in our group was completely undone but I really liked it. I think part of it is the nothing to lose aspect of it. I mean, if they don't like you well, whatever, no professional critics in the audience, you aren't going to run into these guys on the street any time soon. The flip side is if they love you they're going to let you know and not with any polite golf match clapping, either.

I don't know if I'm going to do anything about this, I feel like it'd be a lot of fucking work to get back into performing in prisons, especially in this state and I've got a few irons in the (ring of) fire already. But I was so fucking jealous of Cash while I watched it.


  1. Hey Kizz,

    Still catching up on movies--I finally saw this one. Wow! I wish I could go back to that airport and talk to June Carter again.

    "Yes," she said. "That's him."

  2. I reread this post. I didn't comment last time? I was remiss. It's swell!

    I liked the rapport between Cash and the band too--I didn't pick up on exactly what you did. But you know stage craft! Ah'll tellya, though: When I was in highschool and college I played in a little rock and roll unit. There was massive communication going on on stage--from looking to see what chord Larry was strumming to figuring out where Steve was headed on the drums (I played bass). Most of our audiences went to prison some time after the gig.

    Now, I'm going back to the top...what's new--,:^)