Sunday, December 07, 2008

"What Could I Be Thinking to Forget That?"

Not only is that one of my lines in "A Christmas Carol", it expresses a sentiment of mine over the last few days. I have been so busy and/or tired with the show, that I have forgotten to do some blogging about it.

Which ends now, of course.

To begin with, our final rehearsal. Truly the rehearsal was not horrible, as the director said we gave the impression we were having fun for the first time. So in this, it was a good practice, despite some difficulties.

As for opening night...

There were several technical problems. Lighting, prop placement, set piece placement and the like. One or two minor costume situations. I myself did not feel that I lost my place at any given moment due to these situations, but at times I did notice them. Not to mention the fact that some less fortunate cast mates of mine were more affected by some of the mistakes mentioned above.

The director also had her concerns about it.

But, the crowd was about 30 people out of 80 seats for the first show ever in the venue. And they were responsive for the most part. They laughed, and seemed to enjoy themselves. That was a plus, without a doubt.

So overall, despite the obvious flaws, given how much work we had left to do at the start of this week, I would say we all pulled off quite an upset, as it were.

I myself have no major complaints about my performances. I switched a few words around here and there, I confess, but corrected myself quickly. Though I was responsible for one of the techie issues...I think when I moved Scrooge's tombstone at the end of the Future scene, I brought it in upside down...oops.

As for tonight, I would say it was the best run through of the show we have accomplished thus far, though I was exhausted from the start. I never like to start a show when tired. But I had had a trying commute into the theater involving mountain roads, darkness, and unsalted snow covered roads. Plus a very large amount of traffic due to a local event that I had no clue was taking place tonight.

I had been at the theatre about 15 minutes when I reached breaking point.

The stage manager mentioned to me that a prop would be placed in a different location tonight than it had been the previous night.

Well, the dangerous commute, the fatigue, the previous worries of the show, and other such things conspired to cause me to raise my voice.

Ask any fellow actor I have worked with, and they will tell you that I rarely blow up. I pride myself on not doing so very often. Yet, it happened tonight, and the stage manager was the unfortunate catalyst of this event. Not that I blamed him directly, even as I yelled. But, he was the bearer of bad news, and there you have it.

We are on even terms now though. I got over it. And at least it that it has, it is far less likely to occur again for the rest of the run.

As for the production, as I said, it was the best it has been. And despite my exhaustion, some of my scenes went better than they have ever before. I felt particularly good about the scene where the Cratchits mourn the loss of Tiny Tim. It was extra draining tonight, but worthy it. I hear I almost made some in the audience cry. That means I am doing my job of course.

That ten minutes of the play are my hardest. First, all of act 2 is twice as active for me as act one is. I play four characters in about 20 minutes. This ends with the Cratchit scene I mentioned previously. There is that draining performance, which I must follow up right away with the placement of the tombstone. No real time for me to recover.

On top of that, after I move the tombstone, I must convert directly into the most jovial, carefree character that I play, Topper.

It's quite an emotional, tiring stretch of time for me. But, as I have said from the beginning of this show, I welcome that extra challenge.

Doesn't mean it won't knock me on my ass though...

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