Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Sneeze

Edwin Cordova as Ivan Cherdyakov

GENERAL: My dear young man, I am not angry with your nose. I am too busy to have time for your nasal problems. I suggest you go home and take a hot bath— or a cold one— take something, but don’t bother me with this silly business again... Gibber, gibber, gibber, gibber, that’s all I’ve heard all day. (Going offstage) Gibber, gibber, gibber, gibber.

CHERDYAKOV: Thank you, sir. God bless you and your wife and your household. May your days be sweet and may your nights be better than your days. May the birds sing in the morning at your window and may the coffee in your cup be strong and hot... I worship the chair you sit on and the uniform you wear that sits on the chair that I worship...
Oh, God, I am happy! I’m going home.
And yet.
Have I been the butt of a cruel and thoughtless joke? I AM FURIOUS!!
SONYA! (She rushes in) I have been humiliated. 


The scene was from The Good Doctor, a small budget play based on Neil Simon's take on Tales of Anton Chekhov.  

Tech notes:  The only available lighting was a couple of incandescent bulbs overhead and their effect was terrible.  The stage was not meant to be used for a play.  It was actually a sanctuary used by the Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church.  They allowed me to take pictures as long as I don't use flash.  I had to improvise.  FortuitouslyI have settled in the front row so I can take photos of the act. That meant I could shoot low and hoped that some of the overhead light would be mitigated by the low angle perspective.  Otherwise, all my portraits would look like the actors were from a family of raccoons.  In this case, the Canon 60D with the tilting view finder really helped.  I set the view mode to see everything on screen, and then I laid the camera on my lap.  The view mode help reduced the camera noise.  I tried to shoot when there was dialogue.  Otherwise, it would have called attention.

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