The second act of A Thurber Carnival is the shorter act. This isn't that unusual, as the second act of any play tends to be shorter than the first act. Yet that is with a normal play structure, and not a comedy revue such as this. I had always thought that Act Two would end up taking longer to get through that the first act because it has two or three of the longest sketches in the entire show. But we ran the second act from beginning to end for the first time this evening, and it actually seems to take less time. By the time we get to performance speed it will go even faster. (Tonight it took about an hour, along with pauses to work out how to place the furniture between scenes.)
There was no dancing tonight, so it was a more productive rehearsal than Monday night's rehearsal had been. I only have two scenes in Act Two. Mr. Preble and the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. For the first the director wants me to play Preble as being a bit more hesitant to state his intentions to his wife. I actually thought I had added a hesitance, but it seems it is not quite making it to the audience yet. So I will be working on that, though despite this suggestion, I still feel that this skit is one of the most prepared of the ones in which I appear. It's been that way from the start. Who can say for sure why, but I would guess that it has a lot to do with the fact that most of it is only two characters, and my counterpart is highly prepared.
As for Walter Mitty, once we got started, ( a few actors missed their cue to enter because they were in another room) it went better than it did the last time. That skit has the highest potential for hitches and oil slicks if you will, out of all the ones I am in. Lots going on, and many people going on and off stage. But it really is beginning to come together, and today was the first time I did trip over certain lines in my head. Hopefully that will continue to work as well and better.
There are some prop issues that still have to be worked out in Mitty. I need a pair of gloves, and we don't quite know how we are representing a complicated piece of machinery yet. (Though a pile of random parts were handed to me at some point in the skit, causing much amusing awkwardness for a moment.) But I don't see that as being much of a problem. Making it spout smoke is what I think will be the biggest challenge.
Later, we ran a few of the Act One scenes, just because we finished early. If Grant Were Drunk at Appomattox among them. This continues to make slow progress. But progress is progress. I think there is a bit too much attention being paid to some small details, and a bit too much ad-libbing for my tastes. But the more we run it, the better it gets.
Gentleman Shoppers was also run. I introduce that skit, but don't do anything else in it. The premise of the scene involves a stocked bar being rolled in as I introduce the sketch. I think I am going to ask the director if I can take a drink off stage with me from said bar. Just for something to do that I think may add a bit of style.
After running that opening speech, I was allowed to go home, so I don't know how the rest of the scene went. I imagine it's getting better, like everything else, (with the exception of the dance) is.
Tomorrow the plan is to run the entire show, top to bottom, for the first time. That promises to be a long night. At least it should be a long night. There is no sense in rushing through it the very first time. We should get our bearings in whatever way we need to at this point. And I am not the only one to think so. I was talking with one of the other actors in the lobby before rehearsal this evening, and he said he has kept basically every day between now and opening night free in the event that an extra rehearsal is called. He is at the point where he wants to take any chance possible to rehearse things. I am in the same boat, by and large. We are moving forward in most things, but I would consider us behind at this exact moment. We can make up the time, but we have to make the most of every moment of rehearsal from now on. So more moments would be helpful.
8 days left.