• Joe Russell

The Horse Whisperer and stand up


I told my acting teacher my whimsical objections to the Equus material thinking she would simply tell me to go find something else to work on. Instead she doubled down and said it would be a good test for me to try to get into character of someone I am judgmental of. I tried to explain to her that I was not too judgmental of the fictional character... rather I was judgmental of the writer who wrote the story and the audience at large that would go support this weird play. This main character is sexually into horses... and he even blinds one! What lessons do normal people take away from this play? Except to maybe stay away from folks that want to wed horses? Anyway... I have now been working on it for 3 weeks. I went so far as to actually go the Burbank Equestrian center and do a class on horses. I am thankful I did that because I realize now how amazing horses are. I wonder why they let us control them and cage them like we do. Can you imagine being the first couple of horses that saw a Model-T car driving around? One horse says to the other "Hey, Ed, look at that! The Humans are not going to need us anymore! High hoof!" Instead of us humans letting all of the horses go we instead said to them "We do not need you to pull our wagons anymore... so now we are going to teach you to dance!" If I was a horse, I would revolt!

Yesterday I did my audition for the Actors Co-Op in Hollywood. I did 2 monologues. One from Equus and one of my own creation named "Kill Mother." It was a short piece I wrote after I imagined how Norman Bates would respond to a parole board. It went well and I had the audience laughing. I should find out by 7pm today if I get a call back or not. They only have 1 male spot to fill and I heard they are looking for someone who sings as well so.... ???

I went to church today with some new friends and came home to practice guitar. I really love performing with my guitar, but a lot of people in the stand up world are comics who rely on dark humor like 80% of the time. I doubt I will ever do that approach. I do not want people to laugh because they are uncomfortable, I want them to laugh because they relate to my comment on our collective human experience. There is certainly a place for both in the world... but I choose the later. Going to an art walk in Venice today. Not sure what to expect. There will probably be art... and some walking.

~ Joe


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