Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Balanced Restored...Almost

It is always such an odd thing to perform a scene with one of the actors missing. You look in the direction of where you know they would be if they were present, while responding to a disembodied voice, (usually of the stage manager) reading the lines in the most utilitarian way.

That was the case last night, (Monday) given that one of the actresses was not present.

That notwithstanding, I considered it one of our strongest rehearsals thus far. I would say my strongest, personally.

Why do I say that? Speaking for me, I have been very tired and not at the top of my game physically the last few days. I am not sure why. Whatever the reasons, I was drained when I went into rehearsal last night. I was early, as usual, so because of my fatigue, I decided to just sit up in the dressing room for a while and try to focus. On the show, my character, and getting some strength back.

Slowly but surely I did begin to feel better, and regain some of my energy. (Thanks in part I am sure, to some hot tea I had with me.) By the time we got started I felt almost at peak performance. As I went through each of my scenes, I was picking up difference line readings I could give, or facial expression I could make use of. I felt more in the zone than I have the last couple of rehearsals. All and all, I would say the show just felt more real last night.

I felt somewhat drained again near the end of rehearsal, but nothing like what I had been when I arrived at the theatre. Though I was not doing cartwheels or anything, the energy I found at the beginning of the play was enough to carry me through to the end, bringing with it some new insights into my character and performance.

There was some confusion in one of the scenes I was in. I have thought about it several times, and I am still not certain if it was I, or my scene partner that jumped a line. You would think it would be obvious to me if I was to blame, and I am a little ashamed to admit that I am not sure. However, the reason I am so unsure is that the scene proceeded so smoothly despite the bump that there was no glaring damage done to our flow. Ergo, the point of divergence was not even obvious to those of us on stage. I imagine it would have been impossible for it to have been detected by an audience. I do not want to make a habit out of such a thing of course, but the smoothness that followed the error, (whatever it was) is a testament to the strength of the scene, as well as the other person I work with in said scene.

Our stage manager was back last night, and we had a full tech crew to work with for the first time. That also helped make the show feel more on target, despite being shorthanded on stage. One of the scene changes ran a tad long, but then again the crew as it is now had never run it before. They have several days to trim the fat off of that, and I know they will. Our stage manager is quite capable.

The sound was better today. Les distracting. If it is because I am more used to it, or because the volume was adjusted, I cannot say. I do know that the director requested one of the sound effects be softened somewhat. Given that this effect was the one that had bothered me most, I was happy to hear the request.

All and all, a good rehearsal despite my health and energy issues. If each of the remaining three can nightly improve by the same degree as last night did over Sunday afternoon, we are in good shape.

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