Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Out of the Cold

The director informed us at last night's rehearsal that previous plans to have the cast file into the theatre from outside periodically before the show and walk through the lobby has been scrapped. Everyone will now enter the staging area from inside the theatre, as usual. This didn't really affect me, though, because I was never supposed to come in from outside. I was going to be the first one at "the station" since I playing the stage manger. I would have been on stage from the start. Yet it is a major change in the nature of the production itself.

We have a new sound engineer as well. At least so far as the home made sounds. (clinking the glasses, pouring the liquid, and other such things into a microphone on stage.) He will have his own script, so my stage manager character will not be given sound effects cues as originally intended. This doesn't bother me. I don't think it was working to begin with. The way the stage is, the sound person can't see me well anyway. At this point I will still be cuing the music from my "booth". At least for the first half of the show, before I become one of the actors.

I also wrote my fake biography for my "base" character. I didn't turn it in yet, though. It will give me a bit of a personality from which to work. And much like my appearance in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead this summer, I will have a large chunk of time on stage wherein I am not saying anything, so I will have to create some kind of persona. I have been keeping a cigarette in my mouth and pretending to smoke it. I have also been pretending to throw switches on a non-existent control board in the "booth". Just to look busy. Otherwise I am basically just sitting there alone for about 45 minutes.

Rehearsal itself was a rather long process last night. We only did three out of the four plays, but we had to do a lot of stopping and starting so the director could give line notes. I have significant roles in two plays, one right after the other. (I need to remember water) so my voice is a little tired by the end of the second one. But I like performing the second one more than I like the first. The first as an adaptation of an Edgar Allen Poe work. Ostensibly horror, but I don't think the story, as adapted, translated well onto radio. (The Cask of Montillado.) Nor do I much care for the character I play there. I don't hate it, and I imagine it will be more enjoyable as time goes on, but it isn't clicking with me just yet. If I had more time with the script I would be less worried, but we go on in 9 days. (!)

The second play I am in, and the final one in the production for the evening is a goofy fantasy. A comedy. I like being in that one much more. Which may explain why that one went much more smoothly last night. (Though my opposite had to leave rehearsal early due to illness, and one of the other actresses had to stand in.) I like the high energy nature of this loony story. (Mr. Whiffle Concentrates, the story of a guy who turns himself into a bird by the power of thought. I told you it was a fantasy.) It's the second longest skit we do, but seems to move much faster. The director seems pleased with the progress all of the skits made last night, which is good news.

We rehearse again tonight, and then are off for the rest of this week. But next week we will be meeting each night in the lead up to opening night. So despite it being a reading it promises to be a tiring week. Maybe not as draining as the tech week for a full scale production, but there will be a lot of time spent at the theatre next week, getting this ironed out. Given the progress so far though, I don't think there will be any set backs.

Tonight is also "picture night". We will have head shots taken to be part of the poster which will go in the lobby during the production. (Which means I have a shirt to iron.) We won't be on stage though. I think one of the musical acts for the show will be there rehearsing. Either way after picture tonight will just be a line reading back in the green room.

I think I am finally finding some good voices to use for each character.

No comments: