I don't know which is more stunning at the moment. That Thanksgiving is two weeks from today, or that we open A Christmas Carol two weeks from tomorrow. But since this blog is about my acting, and not about food, I will comment on the latter.
And may I say that last night's rehearsal was one of the smoothest and most productive we have yet had for Act Two. The director admitted that the second act is a "complicated" one, and she is right, but the rough edges ended up being smoother last night than I would have expected them to be.
To begin with, I am feeling much better about my technical duties than I did a week ago. The location for the furniture has been spiked, so the guess work is gone. And with the addition of sound cues for scene transitions last night, we now have more time to accomplish the set changes than I initially believed we would have. The pace is still pretty constant, but there wasn't as much rushing as there had been before. It was not as frenzied as I thought it would be previously. I still don't get much down time in Act Two, but the pace of all of my duties is quite palatable, if they remain as they did last night.
One technical thing that I keep screwing up is the end of the Old Joe scene. All of the stuff he has just bought from the scavengers must be bundled into a large sheet, and carried off stage. The first time we tried that, I dumped half the stuff all over the place when I exited. But I managed to get it all off stage the second time around. Hopefully whatever I did then can be repeated.
Everyone seems to be off book now, as well. Which means I was able to explore some of that nuance I have mentioned here previously. Mainly with Old Joe, though some with Fred. I still must work hard to slow down my delivery of Fred's lines in the party scene. I must balance exuberance with being intelligible. I have not been given a note otherwise, but I sense within myself that I could very easily deliver those lines too fast. It is my biggest scene in the play, so I want to make sure I articulate. I want to make sure I do that in every scene of course, but that is the only one I feel myself going to fast for. Oddly enough, I don't feel I go to fast during Fred's other scene.
Despite my work on Fred, I feel that the Old Joe scene has the greatest potential to evolve between now and opening night. I have several ideas, and the character is just teeming with possibilities for traits and quirks, both subtle and obvious. While Fred is more at the polishing and occasional addition stage, Old Joe still has some actual carving left. If that metaphor makes any sense. But who knows? Something new about Fred may hit me in the final weeks. It has happened before, loyal blog readers.
Tonight we run Act One. It is not as stress free as it previously was, given that we now have the dance. I should point out however that the dance has not, so far, been as stressful as it could have been. I actually think I remember it, for the most part. I don't know if the choreographer will be there tonight or not, but I think I actually remember most of what I need to remember.
That aside, the first act remains my favorite, and not simply because it is technically easier. It is because my two most fulfilling scenes are in Act One. Fred's greeting of his Uncle at the office, and Belle's ending of the engagement. Both scene are short, and from a script standpoint rather simple. But they are two of the most famous moments in he story, and both reveal a lot about the characters therein. I don't have the precise words for it, but I enjoy performing them is a different way than i enjoy performing, say, Old Joe, (my favorite moment from Act Two, no doubt.) So I look forward to that tonight.
Some hitches and obstacles remain. But two weeks out, we are in very solid shape, it seems to me.