Written about on a Tuesday evening.
Last night's rehearsal started at hour earlier than normal, at 6PM. This was to accomodate running both Act one and Act Two. (Remember there is a short Act Three in this play, so we weren't running the whole show.)
Nonetheless, Act 2, Scene 1 in the longest in the entire play. I am guess when all is said and done it might last 25 minutes.
But because it had already been blocked last week, it went more smoothly tonight.
I am happy to say that was "essentially" off book for two snippets; my entire appearance for Act One, and my first appearance for Act 2. Or just under half of all my lines. But I am what I call familiar with the rest of Act 2, and with some heavy reviewing I should be okay in about a week, (which is when lines are due.) I am a little concerned, but not yet worried.
I got several compliments during notes last night. One was that I was a flexible man, based on a weird stance I took during one scene. It was my poorly executed attempt to stand in the way I had been directed a few days before, but it would seem I took the directions too literally. And can and will stand in a fashion that is somewhat loser next time.
The A.D. also told me that though she normally stops laughing at lines deliveries this late into rehearsing, some of my lines still get her. She again compared my delivery to William Shatner. I suppose that can be a good thing or a bad thing, but by her tone I can tell it was a good thing. It all comes about from my efforts to speak a bit more slowly, to display this sort of relaxed approach to the horrific events that my sleazy character has put into motion. I think people will, on a subconscious level, will feel more of his nefarious qualities because of that type of delivery.
I deliver things slightly faster when the character is not alone with the co-conspirators...when he must at least give the impression that all is well. A subtle thing I do that hopefully pays off.
This reminds me that I must sit down and outline my characters backstory. I do this sometimes, and other times I do not. In fact it was been a while since I thought of doing so in such a detailed way as I have been planning. But I think in a play like this, which is a bit bigger than life, nailing down those concrete qualities can help my performance. I keep them to myself unless asked, and indeed already have some ideas in my head about it. But I want to sit down and think more about it in the near future.
One problem is that the director feels there is a bit of awkwardness between myself and the actress that plays my "love interest" when we perform. I can't really judge that yet, other than to say it does not feel awkward. But performers do not have to feel awkward in order to look it. One issue may be that the lines are those of two people that are in fact in love, or at least in lust, but that the way we have been asked to play it is less sincere than that. When it comes down to it, I think playing up the superficial lust may be helpful. But I won't be sure until we run the scene again, probably late next week. We'll get there.
Actually, she that is playing my love interest is a good deal of the way there already after last night. It seems she had a breakthrough on her way to giving the character the right amount of attitude that the director wanted. I personally can't comment much on that, because it's between her and the director, but judging by the clapping and laughing coming from the production staff, one has to conclude that something good has been struck upon.
Some other things that helped last night; I had a desk, papers, and a toy gun with which to play during the rehearsal as well. Other than the desk, none of the items will be the actual ones used in the performance, but it is easier when something is in my hand. (Other than a script.)
I am going to try to run some lines tonight, and run them a lot more tomorrow. Probably a little bit of all of my lines, but I wonder which sets of lines I should run more; the lines for the scenes that have already been blocked, or the lines for the scene we will be blocking for the first time on Thursday? I am tempted to pound the lines for the earlier scenes into my head more, since being off book for a blocking rehearsal really isn't that productive. (You have to have your book with you at all times to write down the blocking anyway.)
Our next rehearsal is this coming Thursday. In the mean time I am going to see if I can post some of the pictures I took with my cell phone of the theatre space. Check back.