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thestarsmaketwentyone (profile) wrote,
on 11-29-2004 at 1:52am
Music: China, the Beautiful; And the Fishes Invaded the Land
Subject: Masks
The Turkey Vulture mask
The turkey vulture is a flexible mask, a family rather than a monochrome, and can be played as young or old, male or female versions, or indeed several different versions in one scenario. There are fortunately many patterns and colourations of the mask, although none of them are fixedly assigned to any one type. She falsely believes herself to be handsome. She is ridiculous and overstuffed but easily deflated and brought low, similar to a Lover but without the poetry or passion to mitigate her foolishness; when old, as female or male she is occasionally lustful, but scares off the younger targets of her infatuations, who find her somewhat grotesque. As an old male mask, she is also impotent. She fears the old age that encroaches upon her, poverty, and danger. These fears are constant. Even the youthful turkey vulture is fearful of crows feet and wrinkles. Blindness to her ugliness must be maintained throughout, although she can sometimes be deprived of her illusions during the final denouement. As an old mask, sees death everywhere. Fussily rationalises anything necessary to achieve her goals. Never behaves consciously villainous, even as a villain. Makes complex plans ridden with contradictions. Sometimes employs the hagfish, but secretly fears him and even if she has second thoughts, doesn’t dare to call him off. Also fears the audience as witnesses to her plans, and so is obsequious and conspiratorial towards them.
She is a miser, whether rich or poor. Can be played as a false intellectual, in which case books may replace money.
Her movement is apparently fussy and fragile, ineffectual and jerkily stilted. Aggression and anger are signalled by a broad, dusty flapping and shaking up her threadbare feathers to appear larger. Self-consciousness and primness spoil what would otherwise be graceful, sweeping aerial movements. Sudden animation and speed appear in times of danger, and more especially where money is concerned. Fighting is characterised by short jumps, rolls and low summersaults, spins and sweeps of the arms performed with desperate speed to blind and distract her opponents while she searches for an escape route.


The Hagfish mask
The hagfish is a cold, callous, unreconstructed villain. He would kill his mother for a dollar. His only saving grace is that his mother is already dead. He doesn’t think ahead, relying on his considerable physical prowess and his abilities as a contortionist and escape artist to get him out of trouble, for he never intends to keep out of it. His mind is a cold, tarnished ball bearing that does not admit fear. The contrast between the ugliness of his behaviour and appearance and the occasional beauty of his movement should be exploited.
His brutality and cruelty are dulled by blunt, passive stupidity. His body slumps sluggishly until he has a task directly in front of them, in which case he moves his feet, shoulders and head with slow, independent writhing motions. His vision is poor, and he uses the movement of his head to surreptitiously peer at his surroundings. Keeps his arms by his sides and low as much as possible. His primitivism is such that he is barely aware of his hands at all. Fights mostly by charging, shrugs assailants off with violent fits of wriggling or shaking, uses his head and shoulders as battering weapons, but is uninterested in his opponent. Fights only to get to his objective. His most dramatic physical lazzo is that if forced to the floor he springs in to the air by way of a powerful spasm involving the violent movement side-to-side of his entire body, like a leaping salmon.
He is capable of deviousness, but only of the simple flavour of the nervous habitual criminal. An ugly androgyne, he is slow to hunger, and acts only to satiate himself, but he can be persuaded easily by money, which he accumulates to no particular purpose aside from that he understands it is desirable. Lustful advances towards attractive members of the opposite sex, and sometimes, young male masks should be carried out with a similar attitude. The offer of sex or marriage can be used as an alternate motivation for his criminality, but he is almost never married before or during a scenario. He has no honour, dignity or loyalty and changes affiliation at each whiff of better money. Where the Turkey Vulture mask plays with him as a villain, the Turkey Vulture is often his employer.
He is never caught, but gains nothing from his escapades, sloughing goods, money, anything and everything to escape justice. Prison is the one thing that holds terror for him, and this is merely a primal urge to avoid death for his own grey mind and poisonous ethics kill him if he is left caged. His poor eyesight means he is barely aware of the audience, and is startled by them if he comes close to the front of the stage.
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