Monday, July 04, 2011

Independence Day

Independence from rehearsal that is. Too many people said they wouldn't come to rehearsal because of the holiday. Though to be honest, I really would have preferred that we rehearse in some ways. Holidays are nice, but when you have a project sometimes they need to take a back seat. We have a lot of work to do and only a few days in which to do it.

It is by no means a disaster, but it is still a bit rough in going in places. Not that I have a perfect fix on where we need to be. I don't watch every moment of the play. One thing to keep in mind is that given the nature of my role, both it's size and the fact that it tends to show up at random times throughout the narrative, I don't really get a sense of how things are going when I am not on stage. There is a monitor in the green room so we can hear cues, and I will occasionally hear if there is a mistake or something, but by and large I am rather less aware of what the others are doing, and how well they are doing it than I am for other shows.

That being said, the general feel I get based on the parts I do see, and the problem to which I am privy gives me the impression that we probably need all the rehearsal days we can get in order to be in opening night form by Friday. That point is moot, however, as we are unable to rehearse today.

We have yet to have all five of the Players present for a full rehearsal of the pantomime scenes, and we expect yet another to be missing for one or possibly two days coming up. Those scenes do take up a fair portion of the rehearsal and notes time, though I am not always sure why. Never having everyone present probably contributes to the high levels of confusion for those sections, though.

As for me, the last two rehearsals were more tiring than usual. I've been to worse in other shows plenty of times, but I was caught somewhat off guard I suppose. (One reason I didn't update my progress until now.) Saturday we started with Act 3 since we didn't get to it on Friday. Once we covered that we did the entire show in one sitting for the first time. Including Act 3 again. That was a long evening, though I myself encountered no major problems.

In fact by Saturday night I began to get into a true groove with Hamlet. Ideally I would be able to spend more time off with myself before some of the scenes. But this theatre is so small there is really no place to go. I do try to give myself a few extra minutes in the wings before I enter in order to gather some kind of focus. That helps, and I am not ashamed of what I bring to the character once I get out on stage for my brief scenes. I just wish I had more lead in time. It cannot be helped.

I still trip over one certain speech I have. Though it be Shakespeare, it is one of the most extraneous things I think Hamlet ever says. In fact few versions of the story I have scene include it, from what I can recall, though I can't promise that. Beyond that, though I have found the rhythm of the Bard within my lines. With those few exceptions, it is feeling natural now. A bit more natural than my last Shakespearean role of Friar Laurence, actually. I'm not sure why. The point being, I am now comfortable with what I am doing personally in the show.

Most of what I am doing. I have a big clumsy umbrella I have to position in the dark in Act 3 that I am still not certain about. I always feel like I am going to drop it back stage or something. I think I have honed in on the proper position for it now though.

Yesterday's rehearsal was an overall shorter experience than the last several had been. We were in and out in about 3 and a half hours. (Compared to 6.) Which means the rehearsals are getting tighter. This is good for the show, but I myself felt off yesterday. I think it may have been a combination of not having enough to eat before practice, and taking a very brief stroll outside the theatre before I made my first entrance. It was probably too hot to be doing that, even though I really didn't go that far, or move that quickly. The rest of my afternoon was affected. Yet nobody mentioned anything to me, so the degree to which I was off in my own mind must have been higher than what others were observing. (Though I did trip over a line at one point.)

Though I have not been able to go on my daily 4 mile walk in about a week or so, I do usually take walks. Yet after one scene wherein I am running about looking for pirates, I feel winded. Am I really that out of shape? Or am I doing something wrong? I am slightly concerned, but not panicked yet.

I also screwed up some of my pantomime for Act 3. But I feel confident that I finally have it down. Such a strange act for me. To be sitting, unseen for so long waiting for a specific cue.

That about sums up the last two days. I know this is a rather short update given that I have rehearsed twice since my last post. But in all sincerity things have hit a reliable stride for me at this point, and there is not much new to report. I hope to get a bit more polished in my presentation of the role in the next couple of days, but for now, entering the normally hectic and busy tech week, I am on an even keel.

But we start with costume tomorrow, so that may bring about a whole other dimension about which to write, loyal blog readers.

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