Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Suddenly, Penultimate

Tonight it was made official; there will be no Wednesday rehearsal. Ergo, we have but one rehearsal left before we open.

Tonight was a dress rehearsal, and all hands were on deck again. Though not fully recovered, I myself was feeling better than I have the last few evenings. In more ways than one.

I think this was my best rehearsal so far. Things were clicking. Connections were being made. Nuances, by nearly everyone were more frequent in all of the performances. I have waded into the Rubicon of internalizing my characters now. I have not crossed it totally yet, and sometimes you don't totally cross it until the audience is there. But this is as close as I have felt the entire time thus far.

I have to give at least half of the credit for this development to my cast mates. Nearly everyone else also seemed to be more intensely involved in there performances tonight. Seeing as how I cannot read their minds I don't know if they too felt things were more internalized today, or if indeed that is a goal of anyone else but me. But I can say that many people had what appeared to be a keener focus tonight.

I have been acting for over ten years, and blogging about it for over five. Yet I still have not found the best way, or even a practical way to describe in words these moments. The best I have ever come up with, as my loyal blog readers will know, is the highly cliched and only partially accurate, "click". And I don't mean the usual use of the word in that everything went smoothly and without mistakes. (We were not without mistakes tonight, which I will address later.) But click into place, so to speak. When what I am trying to personally accomplish as an actor "clicks into place" with what is going on around me. You never quite know when it will happen. Sometimes, it just doesn't. But tonight it did. Not my most definitive clicking ever, but it was there. Even my costume felt natural on me.

Is this a moment within me, or within a show? Or a combination of the two? Most phenomena are combinations of several things, and I would venture to guess, (without being able to prove) that the "click" is no exception.

From here on out, the ideal is that it will feel even better, and equally good throughout each scene I am in. Practically though, oftentimes one scene feel better than others. They all felt good tonight, but I felt Old Joe was the best example. I really like all that I did with that one. Especially the effect of slinging my coat around my shoulders, to get more mileage out of the same costume.

I dropped something on the way out again. But that didn't ruin the whole scene.

And the break up was almost as good. In some ways better. Even my scene partner admitted that it finally felt better to her tonight. (She has never quite done what she wants to do in the scene. Not that one can tell from watching her excellent performance. But each person has their own metric, naturally.) The whole scene has felt better to me ever since the suggestion was made for me to take a small step towards the departed Belle, before turning to leave. As though I almost go after her, but do not do so.

The party scene at Fred's went better than it has the last few nights. No mistakes in the word game, which had given us some trouble the last few evenings. One thing about it, which I remember from the last time I was in the play, but as a different character, is that Fred doesn't really have much leeway in regards to feeding lines to the others in the event of a mistake. 99% of what he says is either "yes" or "no" during the game, because he can only respond to questions. It is the other three that have to be most on guard, I dare say, for chances to cover a mistake. Yet tonight we proved that we have it down, we just need to relax when we do it.

I have to main performance things to work on. "Frederick Dickens" still needs to be a bit less generic than I feel I am making him. I'd like to develop a distinct look and sound to him that is not yet there to the degree I want. I have some things I have been working with, but he still needs a bit more. The character isn't lost, and perhaps I am doing a better job at setting him apart than I thought. But as I said earlier each actor has his own metric, and according to mine, I could do a bit more. Yet after the good feelings I had tonight with so much of the play, I feel confident something will emerge.

One final rehearsal. No costumes this time. Some directors have costumes all tech week, some do not. I'd almost rather wear mine, but I do not think I will do so. I would feel out of place with everyone else not in costume, and feeling out of place doesn't help a performance.

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