Queen for a Day

06 Nov 2007

Many entered the Guess That Mouth contest the other day. As it turns out, the following mouth ...

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... belongs to Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, "Queen regnant of sixteen independent states and their overseas territories and dependencies." My old friend Jamie sent this to me a while back and I nearly deleted it. Here's a proper zoomed-out photo:

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For correctly identifying the mouth in question (or, for being the first, as a few guessed correctly), BLUE BLANKET wins the dubious honor of being interviewed by yours truly. In the exchange below, I'll be represented by The Baron, a fascinating magical cat statue from the Japanese anime film, Whisper of the Heart ; Blue will be her normal icon.

baronlg.jpgCongrats, Blue, on winning the Guess That Mouth contest! Your blog's title is: "Give Me My Blue Blanket!" I was wondering if you could give us a bit of explanatory background vis-a-vis that title. Also, your blog icon ... Is that you?

blueb.jpg"Give Me My Blue Blanket!" is a quote from one of my favorite movies, "The Producers", and kind of sums up my notion of needing a security blanket in an insecure world.

To put it in a bit more context, and for those unfamiliar with the film, the blue blanket is a central prop in the "The Producers". Gene Wilder plays nervous, panicky accountant Leo Bloom who gets recruited by Zero Mostel's producer, Max Bialystock, in a complicated scheme to produce a Broadway show that's a guaranteed flop but will make them both rich. The blue blanket is a small piece of blue fabric that Leo carries in his pocket and rubs on his face whenever he needs a calming influence. During a brilliant scene of increasing tension, Leo has a breakdown when Max takes the blanket away from him, screeching, "My blanket! My blue blanket! Give me my blue blanket!!!!" Max quickly gives it back, and Leo calmly explains, "I'm sorry. I don't like people touching my blue blanket. It's not important. It's a minor compulsion. I can deal with it if I want to." That's totally me.

The picture is not me, but looked a lot like me two years ago when I started the blog (two points if you can figure out who she actually is). If you get right down to it, it's just a bit of laziness on my part. I never bothered to take a photo of myself, photoshop it, then upload it, so I kept using that one. She's much prettier than I am right now anyway, so if you think about it, I'm actually doing a public service.

baronlg.jpgOkay [feeling like a dork for not remembering that line from The Producers ], now for some acting questions ... Within the thespian community, I've noted that many women refer to themselves as "actors" instead of "actresses." What's your take on this highly controversial gender issue, and which term do you normally use to describe yourself?

blueb.jpgI normally use "actor" for practical reasons more than any feminist agenda thing. When you have to refer to your male actors as "actors" then your female actors as "actresses", it gets clunky and takes up too damned much time and energy. As for the controversy over the whole actor/actress thing, if you ask me, those people just have too much time on their hands. If someone calls me an actress, I'm not offended; I'm just glad they didn't call me a hack.

baronlg.jpgI forget who said this, but there's a semi- famous quote from some A-list celeb (maybe Halle Berry or Sandra Bullock) that, when you're starring in a movie (or, presumably, a play), you kind of fall in love a little bit with your costar. Does this happen to you?

blueb.jpgYes. Absolutely. Though most actors are too in love with themselves to fall in love with anyone else! In truth, yes, it's a real phenomenon and has a lot to do with whether or not the actor is experienced enough to pull themselves in and out of character and mature enough to easily develop trust with their fellow actors. Doing a love scene with someone you don't know puts you in a very vulnerable position, and if you're a sensitive person (and many actors are) sometimes, romantic feelings naturally follow (psychological follows physical). Most of the time, it goes no further than friendship, but for some actors, they seem to fall in love with every costar they meet. Has it happened to me? Yes, but the opposite has also happened. When I did "Midsummer" last year, I despised my costar; he smelled, his skin was clammy, and he couldn't remember his lines. That said, since my character was supposed to initially hate him, then eventually fall in love with him, I used it to my advantage (the end of the show was a nightly tour-de-force!).

baronlg.jpgYou're a graphic designer by day. When you do a play, do you get angry when the playbill design isn't up to your standards? Did you ever feel like killing someone for their font selection?

blueb.jpgShort answer: yes. Incompetent boobery runs rampant in amateur theater, both onstage and off, thus bad playbill design, poster design, website design --aw hell, you name it --naturally follows suit. The problem is, I'm a total graphic design snob with typography as my specialty, so you may have hit a nerve. When I see a poorly designed Playbill, poster, etc, I admit, I do go a little batshit crazy. That's one of the advantages to producing my own shows--I can make sure that all the show's visuals look professional, not like they was designed by a drunk chimp with a paint gun and a grudge. I learned a long time ago that you can tell a lot about a company by how professionally they present themselves visually, and this is especially true for movies and theater. Often those visuals (whether the opening/closing credits, the posters, the marketing material) are the last thing budgeted for and if they run out of money (or producer confidence), it shows up there. For instance, I knew the movie "The Golden Compass" would be a turkey the minute I saw how bad the posters and logotype were.

baronlg.jpgAs an actress, you must love Oscar night, right? Is there anything special you will say someday when you receive your Oscar?

blueb.jpgFor many years, Oscar night has been my Superbowl--the night of nights. Although, I admit that in recent years, it's fallen out of favor and I rarely if ever stay up until Best Picture. I think I'm just getting old. And for my Oscar speech? I always said I would thank somebody on the crew that saved my ass --the ones who never get the spotlight or who there are no awards for. Like best Assistant Director, that kind of thing. Often, the assistants are the people who really deserve the awards, busting their asses behind the scenes, making the executives look good, often for a small paycheck and a small line in the end credits. Thanking the director, yes. Thanking the producer, of course. Thanking the sound guy who made you sound crisp and clear on that day when you had the flu and could barely talk? Priceless.

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Original Comments

Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On November 6, 2007, The Idea Of Progress wrote:

The real question is, do you fall in love a little bit with your interview subjects?

On November 7, 2007, Hot Lemon wrote:

well, call me Sam and say, "goddamn"!!