"We talk about theatre museums filled with old costumes and things. What we also need is a theatre museum of the old routines on videotape. We are only the custodians of those techniques, and they should be preserved."
I was privileged to see Jim Dale starin "Barnum" along with Glenn Close. His performance showed that he had a background full of the "old routines." I suppose that YouTube has become the repository for much vintage and plenty of current performance. Forget regular TV. Spend your time studying YouTube. Even if you don't use a bit, file it away in your head until the time is ripe for it to pop out into your own performance. Using the old stuff in new ways will always keep you fresh.
Jim Dale's old routines are even older. I was already a big fan of Dale's when I saw him in BARNUM, because I'd seen him before that as the star of SCAPINO. That was a wonderfully madcap show based on old commedia characters and tales, with Dale funny all over the stage and above it. He'd been a hit in England, and SCAPINO made his name in this country. It's the last show I saw before I went to Clown College, and his energy and inventiveness inspired me. (SCAPINO was also the second show I did after I left Ringling and came to New York as an actor.) I'd agree with Elmo: It's more than particular bits, it's making the old stuff a part of who you are, broadening your comic range.
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