Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No Plan "B"

Today was a costume rehearsal, and we ran the whole show. Kind of.

One person was missing today. And "Mercutio" had to leave early. Plus, due to the building being a multi-purpose facility, we were not able to begin on the stage. We had to practice in the green room, which is not an adequate space for such things. Particularly during tech week, when we should be running things exactly as they will be performed. That bothers me, I will admit.

About 3 or four scenes in, we gained access to the stage, and continued. Because we are still stopping and going to fix things here and there, it was not a continuous rehearsal, and contrary to the plan, we were unable to get to Mercutio's death scene before he had to leave.

Aside from that, and some other confusions, things went rather well, considering how poorly they went last night. Some people still are reading their lines from the script while on stage, which is a bit worrisome, but it would seem that the director was pleased. At the end of the rehearsal she admitted she had been working on a "Plan B" for the production, but based on tonight's rehearsal declared it was not necessary. (She did not elaborate on what her "Plan B" was.)

Truth be told, it was quite a far piece from last night. There was more energy, and there were fewer missed lines, and need for books. (Though I confess I needed to call for a line a place I do not usually have to. I am not sure why...maybe just the overall stress of the situation. I am going to work as hard as I can to prevent that from happening. Though of course, we cannot call lines the next time, and the time after that is opening night.)

I think several things contributed to an obvious increase in energy, (which in turn resulted in more nuanced performances from just about everyone.)

Firstly, we were all on costume. I have said it a million times; getting into costume helps push a show in the right direction. Many people hate getting into them, but as I said in my last entry, I love to be in costume. It really drives home the character and the story, and gives the actor an extra push.

Particular with me today. The director's father is an ordained pastor, and I wore his stole as part of my costume. It was the real deal. Red, which was good because the director wanted me to wear a read stole. I had been using a red scarf, until the family remembered that they had an ordained pastor in the family. (He himself is in the play, as Montague.) I pondered if I should remove it every time I wanted to use a cuss word or something, since it was the real deal.

On a similar note, many props materialized for the first time today. They help in the same way costumes do. I still need a small Bible for the wedding scene though. "Romeo" may bring one.

Yet as mentioned, the overall higher energy of the scenes seemed to be, if not the silver bullet, at least the anecdote to some of the lethargy from previous rehearsals. Who can say why exactly, but I know that for a few hours before we even started rehearsal, energy was building amongst some of us who were there early. We were joking around, and carrying on in the green room for quite sometime before hand. (Laughing, in no small part, at the white stretch pants that our Romeo must wear in this show, which he just purchased today.) And one thing led to another, and there was much laughter and hi-jinx all around, for those who were there. Others joined in later.

Was this the proverbial, (and sometimes mythical) "cast bonding" moment? I don't know. I know I felt more relaxed around some of the people today, and that leads to enjoyment of what you are doing. It carried into the start of rehearsal. Mix that with the other things I have mentioned, (and the fact that we are seriously out of time on this one) and some things I suppose naturally improved.

I confess that I am more nervous about going on for this show two days out than I have been for just about any show I have been in. Not for want of desire to do well on anybody's part. Just how close things have been getting. With the one foul up aside I have proven I have my entire part off book, and I have declared myself off book, but I really think that in one more week this show would have been good. However, if we can improve as much between tonight and Thursday (no rehearsal on Wednesday) as it seems we did between last night and tonight, we may just be totally ready after all.

I have nothing specific to report about my performance. It is solidifying into the way it is now, and I am not yet able to work all of the nuance into it that I had originally planned to. But I must also say that I have managed to fit more of it in during the last few rehearsals than I would have thought I could last week. So, perhaps I can apply even more on the night, or during performances. We will see.

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