Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Miked Up and (Not Quite) Ready To Go

I made it to rehearsal last night, thankfully. (Though I took what has to be the 7th different route to get there that I have found so far.)

The set looks good. Painted and stock with props and such. Plus the audio system is now up and running.

Mostly. The day I couldn't make it to rehearsal water had been dripping in some of the equipment. It seems that it escaped mostly undamaged, but that a few tiny problems may have been caused by the (now fixed) leak in the ceiling from the other day.

Those are just the mechanical problems, however. Issues of timing certain sound effects, and making sure the right mikes are on at the right time are another issue. It's a delicate balance that requires several people to coordinate their efforts. Given that we had not run some of these moments until last night, there were several snafus and issues to be worked on. But much was learned and I have every reason to believe that tonight will be better, and Wednesday better still.

As for me, I did mostly all right with the mikes. Early on I was told that I was outside the range of the device. I think I know why that may have been though. I have always had a strong voice. One that carries very well. (Sometimes to the point of annoying family members in my younger days.) The vast majority of mikes I have ever spoken into have been set at levels that were not prepared for my full speaking voice, let along my full acting voice. (As a child, I drowned out other people during a show, and refused to use a mike again for years because of that.)

The point is I have adjusted over the years, and spoken into a mike not only slightly askew most times, but from a greater distance than most people do. But given the nature of these mikes, and the fact that trained audio technicians are running them, I need to get used to the idea of delivering my lines directly into the mike, and being at close range when I do so. I need to lose that timidity when working with the equipment. I was more used to it by the end of last night's rehearsal, so I am certain things will be smoother tonight, and for the rest of the week.

The trick is to be able to hold the script in such a way that it can be seen, yet still speak directly into the mike. Not always an easy position to be in when there is somebody else standing on the other side of the mike where your script should be. But that is why we rehearse.

I am proud to say that at least last night, I never got called out for rustling pages; that was something that the audio guy was pointing out to people when he picked it up in the headset.

From a performance standpoint, I am happy with the progress I have made with my largest character, Peter Bailey. The director said that despite the mike problems, the scenes with Peter "played well to the house", so that is a plus. As mentioned I have given him a somewhat more serious tone. Not a brash tone, but a serious one. It seems to be working with the character quite well. Maybe stronger is a better word for it. Yes. Stronger. Before I think he sounded like he was deferring too much. Now I am playing him as more of a force.

A little confusion as I went to give one line...someone who had not stood there before was there last night. I guess his position was changed. Not a big deal but I have to make sure I am close enough to give those lines now, when before it was just me at the mike at that time.

The costume parade was also last night. I wore black pants, and a white shirt, with a mostly black sweater over top. (It also has one gray stripe and one white strip.) With all of this, I wore a darker multi-colored neck tie. (No bow tie I am sad to report, though I looked all over for one.) It is mostly red, to go with the holiday season. I got the ok from the director on all of that, so my costume is set.

I also started parting my hair in the middle last night, just to get it trained to do so for the show. Looks more period that way I feel.

One down and 6 to go. (Half rehearsals, half performances.)

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