Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pick Me Up, Before You Go-Go

Last night we had the final rehearsal for A Christmas Carol ever. A pick-up rehearsal to keep us fresh between our two weekends. Not all community shows have one, but all of them should. I am glad that this show did. Props, but no costumes. Despite that, there was actually some new stuff going on.

I think there is a certain unique freedom to a pick-up rehearsal.  It if the very last chance for a cast to feel totally free enough to expand, without the worries of an audience. (Which is why I wish more community theatres would go for 3 weekends.)The show has run one weekend already, and some of the kinks are out. It has been proven that the show can work in front of an audience. So once a pick-up rolls around, actors tend to let loose a bit more, whether consciously or unconsciously. (I am not referring to prank-laden pick up rehearsals, which are common, but I frown upon them.)

I am happy to report that this occurred last night in several places. No specific new choices were made on my part, but as I said, I felt more free and energetic to just go all out with some of the scenes, and the result was some new things happening. More of that treasured nuance about which I write so often here on Always Off Book. For me I think this was especially true during the break-up scene. The director offered particular kudos for that scene. (I didn't think to ask "Belle" how she thought it went.)

I also got kudos for the way I enter in my one scene as the Ghost of Christmas Future, though I have not changed that much for several weeks.

This show is probably one of the most well oiled machines I have been in for a while. The final two weeks of rehearsal, you will note from my blogging, were very productive, and the first weekend proved this. If there were any doubt in anyone's head, the pick-up last night should have removed them; we are running on as close to automatic as any show I have been in at this point. And I do not mean a lifeless automatic, but an automatic indicative of the entire cast and crew being so well prepared for what comes next, that little thought must be placed on it. Flow is the word, in fact. The show flows well from almost beginning to end. I knew for certain he much we had it nailed when both the Fezziwig dancing, and the Fred party word game went by with virtually zero problems.

Not that the entire rehearsal was problem free. An actor who is supposed to hand me a handkerchief at some point did not have it on his person. "Dammit" I ad-libbed, which is something I would not have done had it been anything but a pick-up.

But other than that I am aware of no major mistakes from last night.

So, it is my hope that the new things that were discovered during the freedom and relaxation of Wednesday can be applied to the three remaining shows. It seems that reservations for the second weekend are already at higher numbers than the first, so there will be a lot more people to present the improved show to in the coming days.

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