We got out of rehearsal quite early tonight. In fact it lasted just a little more than an hour. Kind of an odd rehearsal in some ways. We blocked 4 or 5 scenes, but all of them were more like tiny vignettes. I never really put together how many of these little scenelettes there were in the second act until we ran most of them together.
And fewer people had to be at the rehearsals, as they were not in those scenelettes. So it was a different feel tonight, as it always is when the majority of the larger parts are not present. But sometimes I enjoy these more laid back, "obscure" rehearsals, as I call them. Rehearsals where we just take care of little corners of the script that by themselves are not much, but added together constitute a larger portion of the whole.
One of the scenelettes we "blocked" tonight was one which consists almost entirely of me giving a speech. More specifically, a monologue delivered to God. (Yes, God. I play a preacher, remember.) At the end of this speech I am interrupted in a very crazy fashion by another character. I will not give too much away though, in case anyone reading this plans to see it. It's funny though.
I, and the other actor ran the scene without any real instruction from the director. I would say we must have done a fairly good job running it cold like that, due to the laughter of the other cast mates, and the director's lack of any real changes in what we did. We ran it a few more times, before going on to another scenelette.
The purpose of these early rehearsals has not been to get into deep character work. That is next week. Yet the director has given us all some things to consider, nonetheless. I am pleased that, at least based on what I did tonight, he seemed to accept the way I was delivering the speech. (A speech which I am pretty much off book for, but have not tried to deliver without the book just yet.)
He did tell me to slow down a bit. Good call. Not because I could not be understood, but because the speech probably calls for a bit more pausing than I gave it tonight. I, like many, still struggle with the temptation to fill every silence in a scene. In this case, meaning giving the speech a little too fast. I am not unable to slow down during a monologue. It is just not my default position. But I have scads of time to work that out. Indeed, I am going to practice that speech and having cold in the next few days, so I can do more with it next time. No worries at all there.
I think I am finding I like my job and lines in Act 2 more than those in act one. Of course, in an ideal script, act 2 builds on act one, and punches everything through to the conclusion, and I suppose that is part of it. But my early impressions, (which may change with time) is that my character is just a tad more interesting in act 2 than he is in act one. He borders on cartoon in the first act. In the second he approaches a little bit closer to the humanity level of the rest of the characters, and I like that.
Aside from me there are several good things going on with the other characters that I did laugh out loud several times at today. This show has alot of in your face, double-entendre, knock you over the head jokes, which are ok. In general though that is not my cup of tea, and indeed, I do not laugh as much as my cast mates do when such moments are being rehearsed. Thankfully, however, there are also many subtle comic nuances, both in the script, and in the person performances of my cast mates which amuse me. That is where the lions share of great comic presences lies in my view...in the nuance. Slipping on a banana peel will get the knee-jerk laugh every time, of course. But it is the comedy of personality which I love in any show. This show, in the case of most of the characters, has potential for that as well. I look forward to seeing how that develops.