Friday, May 14, 2010

Final Dress

I didn't blog about Tuesday's tech rehearsal, and for that I apologize. But as is often the case during a tech week I was a bit more tired than usual. Plus, there was nothing that made Tuesday night stand out in it's own right, save this; it went better than Monday. But then again, it would have been very troubling if it had NOT Gone better than Monday.

That being said, tonight was the best it has yet been. There was still some calling for lines, and I have to say I have never been in a company where a prompter was allowed. It's a strange feeling.

But those times were few and far between. The energy was way up in some of the scenes as compared to previous nights. I think we could have very much used Wednesday night as a rehearsal this week, but seeing as how we didn't have it, the improvement between Monday and today is noteworthy.

I have never been sure I totally buy into the notion that the better the last rehearsal, the worse the opening night, and vice-verca. I think the psychological basis of that claim lie in the fact that a flawless final rehearsal has the tendency to make a cast complacent. "We've nailed everything, so we can let our guard down," and hence problems arrive the next night. Conversely, if a cast is discouraged by a poor final rehearsal, there is a greater tendency to ease up, work extra hard, and make Opening Night a redemptive affair. But I don't think there is anything mystical to the notion, and since it is all psychological, I think the quality of the final rehearsal is not as vital as the mindset during it.

What was our mindset this evening? Cautious optimism, by the end. During the rehearsal, I think there was still enough jitters and fear of making a mistake, or embarrassment at having made one, that as a whole the show is still humble, and hence in line for a good Opening Night, should everyone keep on their toes.

I had all of my costumes tonight, though they are not all completed. Some are not quite fitted and hemmed. But unless someone is coming in between now and then, they are what they are at this point. It was the first time I ever got to run any of my costume changes, and only one of them worried me before hand. Turns out I had plenty of time. I have lots of extra time for the other changes. No problems there, assuming the timing is about the same from now on.

Some huge set pieces, in the form of exercise equipment were added to the set today. The derailed several crosses, and made some things impossible to do safely. (That is not just me saying that, a few other agreed.) So the pieces were moved to different locations between scenes, and they were far easier to work around.

I reacted tot he obstacles in character, and it was not horrendous. I am just relieved that I won't have to worry with it from now on.

I also at last got a realistic looking gun to use tonight! Not one of the theatre's guns, but one owned by a cast mate. It has made it's way on stage several times it appears. From a distance it looks very real, and it will do just fine. (Though due to a door being put in place for the first time tonight, I had to alter my angle somewhat in order to see my cue, but it worked.

But back to the energy, as I said, it was up for at least all of the scenes I was in. The pace was snappy but not rushed. Lines were coming well. More nuance to my character is developing. It will develop even more tonight I hope.

After rehearsal cast photos were taken. Several legitimate ones and several silly ones. By request I wore the loudest of the 4 suits I use for this show. Also by request I posed with one of the actresses in it. With the previously mentioned gun also. I have not seen the photo yet, but I look forward to seeing how that one turned out.

During and after the photos, almost all at once, any remaining tensions seemed to drift away. I don't mean nerves, I mean tension. More personal than performance related. I've been comfortable with everyone for a while, but as soon as the last rehearsal was concluded I could almost feel a weight lifting off all of us. As though we had all at one time given ourselves permission to have a little more fun with the show. Maybe it was because there was no more preparation work left, and all that remains now is the raison d'etre of being in a show; entertaining a crowd. Or maybe it was just me. But there was much laughter for the rest of the evening. It might not have been more than usual, but it seemed so. Everyone just seemed suddenly more at ease with one another to me.

And so, hopefully, that will carry over into Opening night, which now is less than 24 hours away. I have said it several times but it bares repeating...this has been one of the fastest productions I have been in for quite a while. So here's hoping each of the 7 performances is optimum.

So it begins...

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