The second Friday's performance of A Christmas Carol seemed to have a few tiny sticky points at the start. Yet in spite of that fact I'd say we had one of our best nights so far.
The crowd was small, but more responsive than the previous three. They laughed a several things that just had not been getting laughs. And though I was not out in the audience itself of course, and could not judge it's overall mood, our choreographer was out there, and she revealed to us during intermission that the peopel were very much into every scene. (A little theatre secret for you: sometimes your backstage people will watch the audience as much or even more than they watch what is going on on stage.) Given that I trust her view on things, I must conclude that indeed we were holding the attention of the small house quite well.
I think the waltz with "Belle" was the best it has been, leading into one of the best break-up scenes we have done.
The timing of the waltz was great tonight, and something happened that doesn't usually happen, which I think led to those enhancements. From the start, near the end of my waltz with "Belle", I step away and into the part of the set wherein Scrooge's desk sits, thus symbolizing the character's transformation from "good Scrooge" to "not so good Scrooge" if you will. While I am doing so, the actor playing the current, older Scrooge finishing the waltz with Belle that I started. Probably the most allegorical moment of the play, now that I think of it.
When I walk away from Belle, I have always done a bit of a flourish with my hand, my arm extended as though releasing a balloon in a matter of fact manner. Tonight, Belle held that hand longer than usual, and as a result her hand gracefully glided out of my own, as opposed to my simply stepping out of it. It made the whole scene feel more graceful. Possibly even more poignant. And from what I am told, (though I cannot see it happening from my vantage point) it led to an excellent timing for the other actor to step into the dance. Really nice effect, so we were told later.
The break-up scene itself went well as usual, but with the added momentum from the previously described new moment. Couple this with me changing up a line delivery here and there, (leaning more towards frustration with Belle, than anger), and we had perhaps the most complete presentation of that whole sequence we have yet achieved. I hope we can replicate the effect in the final two performances.
Beyond this, I am happy to report that my "Happy New Year!" jab and Uncle Scrooge got a luagh again. It always does.
All the rest of my scenes, save one, went by without hitches. I did trip ever so slightly on the long black cloth I wear during the entrance of Christmas Future. It is a very meshy, long and unruly piece of cloth that is probably best suited for a much taller person. It has always been a bit tricky for me, especially during the quick costume change I must make right after that first exit. But today I stepped on it just off stage, and for the first milli-second I was on stage. I don't think the audience noticed, as it was very brief. But finding my balance did prevent me from pointing at Scrooge as early as I usually do. Annoying, but by no means devastating.
This remains one of the fastest runs I have ever been in, and it is a little stunning to think we have but two more performances remaining.
Though it will not mark the end of my time at Full Circle, even for what little remains of 2010. Tomorrow, before the call for the evening show, I will be present there to help conduct auditions for the next play. I am the assistant director of that show. I have not yet decided how, or if I will report on that adventure here on this blog, because this has always been about acting, not directing. I must give it some thought.
But not yet as much though as delivering strong performances tomorrow night and Sunday evening. Until such time as the set is literally struck, that remains, as it must, my primary focus.