Tuesday, 4 October 2011

An Actor Prepares Lunch

The exciting (if unexpected, unorthodox, and unauthorized) sequel to Stanislavski's masterwork of theatrical technique, this is An Actor Prepares... LUNCH! This puzzling piece of Internet publishing follows a perpetually peckish actor as he saves money by eating in. Clurman might have called it "a triumph of theatrical gastronomy!" Adler may have proclaimed, "Pass the peas; and the gravy, while you're at it." Here is the blog that Strasberg and Meisner might have read if they ever found themselves short of real alimentary experience (and had access to the information superhighway the way we modernists do.)

The actor must satisfy basic needs while existing in that state known as struggling artistdom*. One must eat food, but then one must maintain one's figure, but then also one must survive on a small budget. And when one actually has a job (or two or three, which is often the case), time becomes the enemy, always trying to grab that last half-hour out of your schedule. So can one eat and stay fit on the cheap and against the clock?

Did you know the average price in America for a head of lettuce is $1.19? A head. A whole head of lettuce can be used for four salads or more. Add some carrot (45¢ per pound), red onion ($1.08 per pound), and tomato ($1.40 per pound), and you've got a really nice looking salad. Dressing? Mix some balsamic vinegar with some olive oil. Salt, pepper, done. Cost for one salad... my guess is about $1.19, if you use a quarter head of lettuce, a slice of onion, a drizzle of vinegar & oil, and, oh, a whole carrot and a whole tomato. (I got tired of dividing.) That's a meal. That's... how An Actor Prepares Lunch!

So, what is this exactly? Will I be providing you with money-saving lunch tips all the time? Probably not. In fact, I'll probably just be putting up some recipes and anecdotes. I won't be changing the world, here; that's what theatre's for! (Pause for laughter, disbelief.) But I am an actor... and I do prepare... lunch.

* Some might call this "starving artistdom." While I do agree that some artists are, indeed, actually starving, as a fellow director-actor and former boss says, "They were starving at Auschwitz."

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