Personal Narrative #2
Maddie Williams, D Block, October 15, 2013
This weekend, I read the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan. The book is through the point of view of two boys, both named Will Grayson, one who is straight and the other gay. The two guys both live in Chicago, and when they meet, their lives begin to change, with romance blooming for both Wills, along the grand production of the gayest and most fabulous school musical known to man. The school musical, entitled Tiny Dancer: The Tiny Cooper Story, is created by Tiny, the first Will's "extremely gay" (according to both Tiny and to Will himself) best friend, who wants to make a musical around the story of his life. Reading about the process that Tiny and Will go through to cast Tiny Dancer reminded me of some of Stanislavski's ideas about acting.
One of the major Stanislavski ideas I picked up on in Will Grayson, Will Grayson was the idea of the magic If. Throughout the musical, Tiny recounts his life through a (slightly) fictionalized account of different situations he went through growing up; his coming out story to Will, playing baseball as a kid, being in his first relationship with a dude, etc. The characters all have names like Phil Wrayson, Janey, and Larry (parodies of the people Will, Jane, and Gary), and Tiny goes to great lengths to cast the role with help from the people themselves. Tiny makes the actors use the magic If in order to help the actors "become" Phil Wrayson and the others.
The other Stanislavski idea I picked up on was the idea of objectives and super-objectives. The super-objective for Tiny in Tiny Dancer is to learn to accept how crazy falling in love is. However, throughout Tiny Dancer, Tiny has to overcome smaller objectives, such as being made fun of as a kid, coming out to "Phil Wrayson" and his own parents, and dating a slew of boyfriends (who have their own number- "The Parade of Ex-Boyfriends"[in which uncapitalized will grayson is included]). Tiny overcomes these obstacles by the end, accepts the craziness of love, and "let's [him]self fall."