Tonight was the pick-up rehearsal for "A Christmas Carol".
In a way I am glad we had it, because I do think the play needed it, and most plays I am in do not end up having them. On the other hand, many of the things we could have used the most practice on...,that is to say the things that went the roughest in the first weekend, were not run through today after all. This is due to the fact that two actors and the entire tech crew were missing.
So in that sense, it seemed a little bit silly.
But, I did get to go over my lines. As did the people who were present. I also got to review my blocking, as best as I could without the missing actors.
There is something useful, I think, in having to run a scene with one or more people missing. You have to visualize their blocking in your head, so that is mental exercise that is useful.
And as for missing actors lines, someone else, off stage, is reading the, usually nothing like the way the actual actor reads them. This, therefore encourages the actor to pay attention to exactly what is being said, instead of relying simply on the timing, or the cadence of how something is said by a specific individual.
So there was a great deal of that sort of exercising today.
The concept of pranks came up. It is a tradition among many theatres, to fill a pick-up rehearsal with goofiness and pranks. While I believe in having fun, I do not believe in this sort of derailment. It is a waste of time for all involved. A previous show got so out of hand during the pick-up, that the second half of rehearsal was cancelled by the director. And I only ever really did anything in act 2 for that play. So I had driven 45 minutes, and waited all that time to practice my problem spots for nothing. I, therefore am glad that most of us agreed that it would not be a joking pick-up rehearsal.
I still think it could have been taken a tad more seriously overall...but I think most people did focus more by the second act than they did in the first.
I must confess here that second to last line I did goof off with. I told Dickens to "kiss my ass" instead of saying "of course", when my character is asked to do something. But that late in the game, there is little harm. I literally was off stage for the final time within 2 minutes of that. And had it ruined anything major I would not have even done it then.
Overall, there were no major problems tonight, if you ignore the fact that I was one of only two people that made use of props, most set pieces were not places, we had no tech people, and about a third of the cast was missing. A lot to ignore, of course. But, it certainly could have been worse.
The reservation numbers are even better for the second weekend than they were for the first. If you should be in the area, and want to secure a ticket, we are getting down to the wire now.
Go to the Full Circle Theater Company website for details.
Here's to a better second weekend even than the first.