(Is that getting old yet?)
Sunday was in informal rehearsal that was not required. Ergo, most people did NOT attend. Out of those that did attend, the director spent most of her time with Fate and the Minion Dancers as I call them. I am not sure what all they did, but I think it;s fair to assume it was basically choreography.
Out in the house of the theatre, I, along with about 6 cast mates read through the show, trying to run lines without checking the book. (Having to read for all the absent people as well.) I was able to do about 90% of my lines without looking. We could go through problem scenes more than once, but I didn't request such services. (Though I did ask that those reading for parts in my scenes actually read the whole scene, as opposed to just reading the last few cue words for me, which is what they did for the others. I have never been good at picking up my cue with just a few words.)
Others in the group, by their own admission, were not doing very good with lines. I mean, I have taken longer than I normally like to, but others were congratulating me for having so many lines down. I do not know if I deserve praise for being somewhat less behind on my job, but, I appreciate the sentiments. I just wish, as did they, that everyone was where I was in regards to lines.
That being said, it was a very refreshing experience for more than one reason. It was an informal gathering, but work was getting done. The pressure to be performing, and remembering everything all at once was off, and it allowed us all to relax a bit. When relaxed, more happens. It also allows for goofy moments, but unlike many of the rehearsals, those moments do not get out of hand, and they fade quickly back into the task at hand.
It also allowed us to take time and discuss things.
But most importantly, it was the very first time I got to deliver all of my lines to someone in some capacity. I have too long been reciting my lines to only myself, or in rehearsals wherein too much was going in in regards to blocking that delivery really wasn't happening. Sunday marked the first time I had delivered some of those lines in the theatre since the first first read through or so. Just the simple ability to do that made me more relaxed overall, almost right away.
I went home, and for most of that night, and today, I studied the few lines that I was still shaky on. I happy to report that as a result, despite a few shaky moments, I performed totally off book tonight, for what was our first full run through of the show in one night. (I did call for part of one line, which we are still allowed to do, but it was a fluke...the line was not any of the most recent ones I had been having trouble with.) So, though I need polish, i can after tonight, declare myself officially off book.
Sadly, that was probably the best, if not only good news from tonight to report...
The director told us, (rightfully so) at the end of tonight's rehearsal, that she just wasn't seeing the effort put into getting the show off the ground. And indeed, weaknesses abounded. We have yet to have a single night where the whole cast stayed for the entire evening. Due to having not run the show before tonight, there was some confusion as to when scenes actually changed. But worst of it all...many people still had book on their hands. This, loyal blog readers, is not good.
I only feel comfortable saying that, because the director agrees. As I said, she told us that we just are not getting there, and that we need to improve very quickly by about "5 notches".
A lot will be riding on Tuesday night. That is the night she said there will be NO stopping. Monday night, and all previous nights each scene had to be stopped several times to change or correct something. From now on, she told us, if we run into a jam we are on our own. Which we should be by this point. But I wonder what that will bring about on Tuesday.
What exactly the director will be looking for on Tuesday night, and what the consequences will be if we cannot deliver it, I have no idea.
I correct myself, however. One other good thing about tonight was that I wore a costume for the first time in the show. I did not have to, but I wanted to be into the character as much as possible, given the circumstances. Every moment I have at all engines firing, the better. Everybody has to do costume starting Tuesday, so I just decided to give it a head start.
I have never thrown together a costume so quickly. My stand by black shoes, which I have worn in at least 10 shows if not more. Black socks. Black slacks, and a durable black t-shirt (from a previous show.) My plan was to find a real clerical shirt, but that was not easy, and I was out of time. I planned to have someone sew a white piece of cloth on the collar, to give the impression of my wearing the roman collar. But tonight, as a stand in for that, I taped a small piece of white box backing to the front of the t-shirts collar. It must have worked very well, because more than one person, from a distance, thought I had found myself a clerical shirt with a collar. Not bad for a last minute idea. (Though I probably need to have cloth sewn in for the actual show...in fear of tape just coming off in the middle of a scene, though that did not happen tonight.)
So, we will see what tomorrow brings for the Friar's outfit, and for the show itself...it is the most critical and direct moment of truth for a show that I have ever been involved in, in my tens years as an actor.