Monday, March 19, 2007

Enter, Tech Week

I was far too tired last night to blog about Sunday's rehearsal. So here is the run down.

We rehearsed with all technical elements present for the first time. Lights we have had for a few days. Sound was a first, and I confess, I found it somewhat distracting.

The sounds are simulating action going on in an adjacent room, and are barely detectable from the house. This means, however, due to the way the set is constructed, that the sound effects have to be quite loud from one of the speakers backstage. I had to strain to here my cue line in a few places. Past a certain point in the show, backstage will not at all be a place to relax, and get ready for my next entrance. That is somewhat unfortunate, as I was not sure we needed quite so much volume for quite so much time. But I am neither the director, nor the sound designer. I am just speaking from the perspective of an actor backstage.

We are also going to have to talk a bit louder onstage, because from there it can be somewhat loud at times as well. I confess this has thrown me off a bit, coming so sudden. I made no major mistakes, but keep in mind we are all trying to makeup, during tech week, the time and sharpening we missed so much of last week, with all of those last minute nights off. In some ways the rehearsal process is much younger in our minds than it is on a calendar. I will get used to it, but I am personally not sure we need quite that much sound, that often. But I respect the fact that i am neither a sound designer, nor the director.

Sadly, the effects tend to drown out the speaking of the actors when it all comes through the "cue speakers." (Those speakers in the green and dressing rooms that let us know where in the play we are, when we are not onstage.) So even in those places it will require a little extra effort to discern where we are. But, so it goes, I guess.

In addition to added technical elements, we were joined by two more technical staff members. One is a friend of mine I have worked with several times on stage. The other is someone that looks familiar, and who I think was on the stage crew for one other show I have done, but I am not sure. Either way, we have two more people helping out.

Our stage manager, and one other tech person have been out of town the last few days. I am not certain when they return...tonight or tomorrow. Either way, once they are back, and everything is set, we will be ready to starting flying.

The missed nights last week (which I discussed in previous entries) really have in my mind made the process seem shorter. I like that week before tech week...where things are getting serious, but there is still some breathing room. We had a little less time for that in this show, and we are ever so slightly behind where I like to be headed into tech week. We have four rehearsal left(!) to correct it, and I have no reason to suspect that we cannot accomplish that. Just one of those less than ideal things that have to be worked around. The theatre life is chock full of them, as any actor reading this can attest to.

As for my actual performance, I continue to make small improvements. Line readings, pauses, gesticulations. Knowing that the show is somewhat shaky in a few places does not keep me from honing in on my own performance, and I have to be honest when I say I am pleased with my work thus far. There is much nuance I can, and will add in the final handful of rehearsals, but all and all I am, as an individual actor, right where I like to be at this stage in the game.

Part of that may be helped by the costume. We did not have to wear them yesterday. In fact I do not think we are required to again until Thursday. But I am going to keep doing so. I have no major costume change, but it would almost feel awkward to not have the costume on, being at the start of tech week.

I am glad we are out of weekend rehearsals now. I do not like rehearsing in the afternoon. It is only slightly less annoying than performing a matinee. (Those who read this blog, or know me, recognize I do not enjoy matinees, as a rule.) The rest of this week will be evening rehearsals...performing when it is mostly dark outside. The way modern theatre was intended.

1 comment:

Susan Abraham said...

What an honest thoughtful assessment so far, Ty. Keep it going. :-)