Friday, November 05, 2010

A Bit of a Cluster...

You know what.

Last night was not a disaster. But it was very confusing to me, and I was not feeling as well as I had been the night before.

It turns out that I was wrong about what our goal for the evening was. It turns out we ran Act Two from the beginning last night. And then with what time we had left over we moved into Act One. So between Wednesday night when we tried to run Act Two twice, and last night, certain segments of the play had been run three times in two days. We probably needed it in some ways, though as I said, I probably wasn't at full capacity for much of what we did last night.

I say that because Act  Two is the most labor intensive act for me. Nearly too much so, in fact. Literally 100% of my time for almost the entire act is constant motion. Nearly all of what would be my off stage time is totally monopolized by the need to move furniture and/or props between every scene I am in. And I am in nearly every scene. As a result, the time I have to collect my props and change costume pieces between scenes is cut down somewhat, and everything is a rush. I essentially do a scene, run around pretty frantically to accomplish some technical task, and turn right around run on stage and assume another character. No real time to get into character at all.

This was a problem two years ago as well, even though my role was different. I felt then, as now, that the script tries to do far too many things, with far too little resources in too small a time frame. Certainly with too few people. The worst example is probably the 30 seconds during which I play the Ghost of Christmas Future. That takes up just enough of my time after the boisterous party scene with Fred to prevent me from taking a breather. Given that two different people play this role in the script, and given that the costume obscures the face of an actor so doing, I think it would have made more sense to have one of the female characters come out in this outfit for the brief moment. Nobody would know the difference.

But aside from that, I just have many items to set, move, place, alter, etc. the second I am done in a scene in order to prepare for my next scene, that I feel a bit overwhelmed at times. Ideally this show would have a running crew. But then I suppose one misses out on the "a bunch of people putting on their own show in an attic" feel the the playwright, Paller, was going for when he adapted it.

All of this is by way of saying that I don't yet feel as connected to my character's in Act Two as I'd like to be. My belief is that I will actually have to nail down all of the set changes and technical responsibilities I have first before I can feel totally at ease with the performance aspect. I will have more to say about characterizations then.

We did end up running part of Act One last night, complete with the Prologue. (I talked about that in my previous entry.) I got one more of my major hand props for it. The gift Fred gives to Scrooge.  Act One is far less complicated from a stage craft standpoint. Few changes in setting. (As well as set.)

We didn't have sound last night, but the sound guy was there for a few minutes before we started, running some of the effects. They sound pretty good.

Sunday is our next rehearsal. We will be learning the brief dance. And I feel confident that unlike my most recent production "brief dance" will actually mean a brief dance.

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