Thursday, August 26, 2010


The choreographer ran most of rehearsal again last night, even though originally it was not supposed to be a dancing rehearsal. But given the may absences on Monday, and the fact that it seemed to take longer than anticipated to get things into some sort of order for the opening dance of A Thurber Carnival, she came back again last night.

One person that did not come back was the newest member of the cast. I neglected to mention this on the last post in light of everything else that was happening, but on Monday a new female joined the cast, and learned the complicated dance scene with us.

The next day, same female quit the show, citing work scheduling conflicts. So by the time last night rolled around we were still short on people. And the search for a replacement is on once again.

Setting that aside, we went through the prelude sort of dance as I call it several times, along with the opening scene with the one liners. We never ran any of them smoothly without interruption though. And despite the choreographers insistence that it was starting to look better, I can never really get a sense of such things when a flow is not allowed to take place. This is one of my biggest pet peeves on stage; when a scene, once set down, is not permitted to simply go from start to finish once or twice to allow the actors to get an idea for it. Instead, new ideas are thrown out in the middle of rehearing the scene. A change is made to part 3 before part 2 is even completed. And so on. I'd much prefer to get the bare essentials of a scene down pat, and then add things. Such an approach provides perspective. But that isn't the way it is for this scene, so I just have to go along with it for now. (Though that doesn't mean I will successfully accomplish everything that is added every time.)

I also do not thrive in an environment where my shortcomings are pointed out freely. I am honest about them, yes, but to have other people remind me of them all of the time makes me less eager to rehearse.

There is also a skit I am in which has a five second or so moment in which I do not appear. This moment had been choreographed and rehearsed for at least an hour total over the two nights we have run this scene. Personally, I am not sure any five seconds of stage time is worth that much choreography, but again that is not in my power to change.

What is in my power is to become offbook. I have just under a week now to do it. I am sweating a little bit about it, but the good news is that I am off book for all of the smaller scenes I am in. Not an impressive feat perhaps to some, but it comes in quite handy with rehearsing. (Especially when certain moments can take so long to rehearse.) I even found a personality developing in one of the characters I play. Last night I enjoyed doing that skit, (The Unicorn in the Garden) more than I have so far. Though I have only gone through it a few times. But it has personality now, and that goes a long way. I attribute a lot of that to the fact that everyone in it is also off book.

So, I found that part of the rehearsal more constructive to my personally than the dancing. (Which should not be surprising.) I imagine that eventually some order will come out of the dancing, but I can more clearly see progress in the straight up scenes, and I saw progress in the Unicorn scene last night.

Tonight we will block two of the scenes I am in. The first I am merely a narrator for the first few moments. I imagine I will just enter, speak, and leave. But later we will be blocking what is probably my most complex appearance in the show; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. That might take some doing. But when that one is running smoothly in a few weeks it may be my favorite skit of the production for any number of reasons. We will see.

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