Last night, (Wednesday) I had to miss a tech rehearsal because I was working. That's pretty much the first time that has ever happened in my acting career. I feel a bit down about it, but I am not beating myself up over it. I will feel even more down when I have to do it again tomorrow. (Friday.) But making money is making money, right?
I will say a few things about Monday and Tuesday night, though. in both cases, most of the people in most of the plays were not in attendance. (So I do not feel quite so bad missing those days this week.) Given that, on Monday I was called upon to read parts for missing actors in three different plays. This, plus my own two plays made for a busy day or two. I did not have to read for as many missing people on Tuesday.
Plus these two rehearsals were conducted in a private home. So, although it is good for lines, (I consider myself off book for both plays), blocking and props are not generally a part of the equation. Plus, my one scene partner was out of town for both rehearsals. In many ways, one could say I have not really had a chance to rehearse much in the way my shows will be performed.
This could have made me nervous, but in this case it has not. Despite the poor attendance at the last few rehearsals, I reached, in the course of those two or three days, being comfortable with the production as a whole. I am not just referring to things such as lines or blocking. I am referring to the more subtle things...the people involved...the travel to and from the location... (Almost an hour drive for me), and the nature of this unique first production. It certainly will not be the largest or grandest opening night I have ever had, but that moment where the "fun" clicked in came about recently. It's the final, (but not inevitable) step which allows me, and many other actors to summon their maximum creativity for a piece. With that having happened, I feel there is a lot to offer in those shows, despite the limited rehearsal time, and availability of the casts.
Not to mention that it is a minimalist setup, anyway. The lines and the show are essentially the lion's share of what is happening. (Especially with Philip Glass.) These plays can be more complicated in some venues, but we do not have that luxury. Furthermore, I would argue the Ives pieces we are doing lend them self more to minimalist sets and costumes. They are verbal assaults on the audience and other actors. Friendly assaults, to be sure, but ones which can lose potency in too many frills. In our case, by force, and by choice, that is not going to be an issue.
I will have rehearsal tonight, which I believe will be a tech rehearsal in the actual venue. I will miss tomorrow, and that will leave the Saturday morning run through before the actual opening. All told, it appears I will have 2 chances to run the show, as it will be performed,costumes, props and all, before we open on Saturday night.
There are drawbacks, but nothing that will sink the ship. Indeed, in a way, this is the spirit of community theatre. It is local people, picking a show, with a minimal budget and hectic schedules, finding a small, barely adequate venue, and entertaining those that do show up, through the purest form of acting...intimate, performance/dialog based experiences, lacking spectacle. Though the writing cannot compare, there is a Shakespearean, or in the very least, an Elizabethan theatre quality to what we are doing here, if I may be so bold. Sparse props, little to no sets, cramped quarters, mixed with the dedication to the craft of entertaining...whomever will come, and in whatever venue we can secure.
I speak for only me, as others may not be as impressed by our humble beginnings. But, such people are not likely to attend the play, or read this blog in the first place. For those that will attend, or wish they could, and those that read this blog, you probably follow what I mean.
And so, bring on rehearsal...
And ticketsarestill available over at fullcircletheaterco.org.