Scene4 Magazine: Arthur Meiselman

Arthur Meiselman

HIM On Stage

What a spectacular thought, eh? Though there are some performers who tread the boards fully usurping themselves and the title at the same time, I’m talking about the “one and only”. the “almighty”,  HIM (and he is a “him” in religious literature much to the consternation of the larger part of our species). I’m not talking about the purveyors, the messengers... Jesus and Muhammad and the other self-proclaimed conduits to the everlasting light. And I’m not talking about Buddha who’s been portrayed theatrically for centuries, because he was a man who achieved “godliness” and invited everyone else to become achievers as well. No, I’m talking about the Father, the all-seeing eye, the beginning and the end of all human dreams, Numero Uno!

How do we portray him on stage? Well, in some Western religious alleys, it’s forbidden. A voice, yes. A light, a shadow, maybe. But no images, thank you, they attract lightning!. “Cabin In The Sky” notwithstanding, we’ve all seen the Cecil B. DeMille treatments in too many Hollywood potboilers and even some “passion” plays (a giddy term) – a change of sky, a change of light, and the voice, that voice! A resonance, a timbre, an enunciation that removes all doubt, that restores all hope, and pumps our reservoir of guilt. Some Hollywood guys have made a lucrative career providing that cosmic tone in films, television, even commercials. No, I don’t want just a voice... I want Him on stage, not on the screen, on stage in real time.

What’s an actor to do? How do you build that character, find the inner truth when there is no inner or outer. Lord Olivier and Sir Orson would  both want to know: What does his nose look like? Truly, A Noah’s-Ark-of-a-task

Michelangelo did it, albeit, upside down, while being harassed by one of “his” reps. So that’s where I’d start... Buonarroti knew! He was touched by “Him”, whoever “He” was. That magnificent body and that magnificent face and that magnificent nose. There’s the physical! And the flame of character? It’s in that finger, that wonderful laissez faire finger flowering from the most peaceful hand ever portrayed. Follow it back into the inner “life” and you’ll find a bottomless source of memory, emotion, and eager experience.

But where am I going to find the actor to bring Michelangelo’s vision to life? Not on this planet, and not off either (until they discount the first-class fare to the Space Station). No, no sense in auditioning for this role. Time to turn to E-The Animator, my digital puppeteer. Time to create a “new” actor, a shape-shifting amorphoid with no baggage, who doesn’t have to pee no matter how long a rehearsal lasts. With “it” I can begin to compose. Compose what, you ask? Stay tuned, I’m beginning to hear the “voice”... among many.

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Arthur Meiselman is a playwright, writer and the Editor of Scene4. He also directs the Talos Ensemble and
produces for Aemagefilms.
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©2015 Arthur Meiselman
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November 2015

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