Friday, July 01, 2011

Mind Your Miming

Wednesday was Act 3. In other words, my (mostly) silent act. It takes place on a boat, and for the lion's share of it, I am sitting under an umbrella on a platform on the "deck" of said ship. For the first half I am unseen. Later, after switching a letter with the sleeping Rosencrantz, the umbrella is turned, I am seen reading a book.

Eventually I do come down and pretend to spit off of the boat. (The nature of this gag is still, honestly, lost on me.) A moment later I lead a chaotic and fruitless charge against some unseen pirates, grab a sword, bump into people, and then jump into a barrel. (Yes, this is the part that is probably the least Shakespearean for me.)

Then later, for about 90 seconds I appear again at the very end of the piece as a dead body of Hamlet. The end.

Most of the rehearsal time was spent trying to get the Players set for all of the pantomiming they will have to be doing. Sadly, one of them cannot make it to rehearsal for another week, where a second one will be gone for the next 4 days. For those of you keeping track, we have had a full cast present exactly once.

Another one of the speaking roles also been absent for several days. He has only been to, at my count 2 rehearsals the entire time. But that is this particular "actor's" normal mode. I have worked with him before this very year, and he tends to not take what he does very seriously, unfortunately. I am ever so glad I don't have to interact with him as I did in the last play I was in with him.

Anyway, Act 3. My personal opinion is that once all the bugs are ironed out, it has to be very high on the energy. At least halfway through. All plays need high energy of course but I think this particular section of the play will be especially problematic if the energy is not kept way up. Pirates and pantomime, and other such things.

I am hoping the umbrella will be set up in such a way that I don't have to be directly on stage behind it right away, because that is quite a long wait to be on stage but hidden and unable to move. If I need to be there, it won't be too bad, but my preference is to abbreviate my time waiting on stage.

The times when I am silent, but visible are another matter. I can perform in character for those moments, and they will go by quickly. Actually, I am in the unique position of having to get off book for sections where I have no lines. As in, I need to commit to better memory those cues which indicate when I am to get up and do my wordless action. I also need to practice "blowing out" the battery powered lamp so that it looks realistic. It's a hard switch, so I need to come up with something.

The biggest news from yesterday though was that I got my costume. A very period looking get up. Doublet. Laced sleeves. Short pants. (I need to procure some long black socks to complete the effect.) The outfit will be hot, and it a little tight, to be honest. But so far not excruciating. (Though I have yet to actually perform in it.) Hopefully it will work out fine. Maybe not feel as tight as I wear it a few times.

Tonight (Friday) marks the first time we will run the entire show, front to back, as opposed to just a single act at a time. Such rehearsals are always a turning point of sorts. Makes everything feel more real. And the first few times, a bit more draining. But We open in a week, so the sooner we can get on with the full runs, the better. It won't give us a great sense of timing just yet, mainly because the leads still need some time with their lines, and of course we will be missing two of the Players. (And in all likelihood, "Claudius" again.) But it will give us a ball park on the running time. Rough ball park.

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