For sure the worst ways to die, in my opinion would be:
- Zombie food: The thought of being ravaged by the undead would only be slow and obviously painful.
- Drowning: You’re aware that you’re lungs are being filled and you are unable to breathe.
- Fire: Another death that you’re aware that it’s happening. I’d rather drown.
However, this isn’t a post about death in the actual sense, nor the literal, but the literary sense. For now, for those who watch The Walking Dead, we viewers acknowledge the characters’ understanding that it’s not maybe–but definitely–a virus, which is a pretty lousy way to die as well.
That was probably one of the worst segues ever, but it’s going to be kept.
There is great consideration to step further out of the box of comfort that I’m in, bouncing around the walls. Luckily, the box is made of cardboard and not patted walls; like any type of material, the more that something is worked at, progress of and eventually breaking through is inevitable. Looking down the road, being positive about continuing my residence in Central New York, an opportunity to audition for a play is intriguing to me. Volunteering has helped solidify my interest in participating, and improv–of course, improv–has done the grunt work to get me comfortable with performing, unscripted, on a stage.
The play is an adaptation from Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which is one of my favorite books. Ever. This information has already been given to you, reader, in a previous post(s?), but my book talk in seventh grade could not be beat. My visual was a board with that hard-to-forget macabre poem, which was read to kick the presentation off. Due to much controversy, extensive changes were made to the title and poem/nursery rhyme included. I have the Little Indians version, but I’ll tweak the poem (because I care).
Ten little Soldier Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Soldier Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Soldier Boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in half and then there were six.
Six little Soldier Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Soldier Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then then were four.
Four little Soldier Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Soldier Boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
The concept of mysteries have always been preferred due to the suspense, intrigue, thrill, and the wonderment of whodunnit. Where there is a mystery, there is murder and deception. There is usually a femme fatale, a red herring, and the inevitable plot twist. The faces of some of my fellow students with their jaws dropped: priceless. My parents encouraged me to use this book for the book talk, which was pretty cool back in the day–the 1995-1996 school year at Camillus Middle School.
Here would be an inserted comment about my favoring the very loose adaptation of the (Cusack-billed) film, Identity (2003).
The next step in this whole process will be pushing myself to attend auditions. I’ll be anxious, which will yield doubt and resistance to try. However, I’ll still go–knowing myself all too well. The question, which has to be answered before standing in front of a panel of drama decision makers, is which role to audition for.
Better yet… How do I want to die? Spoiler alert: aside the inspectors at the beginning of this mystery and the fisherman at the end, everyone dies. I don’t want to play an inspector or the fisherman obviously. The cast that is left, the ill-fated 10, is made up of 7 men and 3 women. Of these seven slots, who looks most appealing? Please give me a minute while I reference my copy of the mystery. Another spoilers: the listed characters die in chronological order. (This is going to take me a while, but deal with it.)
- Anthony Marston: The very first victim, who chokes to death due to his beverage being tainted with potassium cyanide. I probably will not want to play him, because he is the first to go; a larger role is desired, and my fake choking is cartoonish and stupid, which is something I’ll have to work on.
- General MacArthur: The third on the list, which would be better, but the stage time still won’t be meaty enough. He is beaten to death while enjoying the shore. In the grand scheme of things, this would be fitting for me. I can relate, because I love watching the tide come in; it’s soothing. At least, should this role be mine, at least I’d die with a peaceful last scene in my mind. It would be a painful death, certainly, and it would be brutal. The audience would cringe.
- Thomas Rogers: The butler. He either does it, or he is killed off early. In this case, it’s the latter. How? He gets an axe to the head. Due to this being my first speaking role since seventh grade, acknowledging this now, a smallish role may be fitting for me. However, if I am going to get murdered, I’m going to go out big. Die big, or don’t die at all. Wait… that’s not the saying.
- Justice Wargrave: He supposedly dies with a gunshot wound to the head, but he fakes it to take out everyone else, until the end when he kills himself. The last couple deaths he gets to sit back and watch, and he doesn’t have to get his hands dirty. It would be nice to get out in the middle of everything, and it would be really fun playing the antagonist. “It’s so good to be bad.”
- Dr. Armstrong: A couple deaths down the list, his death is smooth sailing–falling off a cliff, drowning in the sea. So much for acting as Wargrave’s cohort. He shows his gullible nature, which gets him killed. This would be a great role to play, because he’s a bad guy. All of the 10 characters are bad people, but being the blindsided one of the villans would be a good role. Thinking that helping the main antagonist fake his own death will get a rise out of everyone only leads to my fall, literally, and Wargrave gets the last laugh.
- William Blore: A fun role, and he almost makes it out alive. Ha! Just kidding. That bear-shaped statue with a clock is dropped on his head. Big role with a quick instantaneous death.
- Phillip Lombard: This soldier, the hero archetype, accompanies Vera at the end. They solve the case of everyone dying after Armstrong washes up on the shore. The two foil Wargrave’s plan and antagonize his death; they share a kiss, make passionate love, and get off the island. Not so much. If you were left with one other person on an island, you’d suspect the other was the murderer behind everything. Vera shoots Lombard to death with his own gun. She, traumatized, hangs herself.
So, if death is inevitable, I may as well take an interesting role. My top three preferences:
- Rogers: the butler, who has an axe buried in the back of his head
- Armstrong: the gullible one pushed off the cliff, but makes a cameo as his dead-and-bloated self at the climax
- MacArthur: beaten to death on the shore
A great marketing idea has been developed, so it should be ran by the director when that time comes. I cannot wait.
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald