Sunday, June 24, 2012

Back to the Beginning

The beginning for my character, that is. Friday night we went over some blocking and character issues for my first scene in the play: Act 1, Scene 3.

As per this director's usual style, we spent some time discussing the motivations and dynamics of the characters in the scene. Not all of the actors were present, but much was decided about the scene by those who were.

It can be tricky discussing such rehearsals without giving away too much of the vision of the piece before we open. I wouldn't want to do that, but at the same time I do wish to share the nature of any given night of rehearsal, particularly if same provides a moment of particular significance for my performance. Last night certainly did so.

I think I can put it this way; this first scene in which I appear is one in which various members of the nobility and of the royalty are gathered away from the public eye. As such, the scene allows for a greater display of frankness and candor among those characters that appear in it. Thus it allows several of the actors to reveal a bit more about their character's "true" natures. It is especially so in my case, as this scene of candor is the first time Buckingham is seen by the audience. These moments give me a unique chance to establish the private Buckingham right from the start. Even if all of his secrets are not revealed here, (and they are certainly not), he can in fact be seen in a more unencumbered state.

The nature of this unencumbered state of most of the characters was the topic of discussion as we ran the scene. We were unable to run the entire scene, but much was established just by experimenting with the first half of same. In so doing I found that my idea of Buckingham being someone who wants to get far from court life and into "early retirement" as soon as possible can be presented from my first moments on stage in the show. (I brought on some props and made use of same to help with this-a choice of which the director approved.)

Indeed for much of the scene Buckingham is an observer of the spatting between Gloucester and Elizabeth/her family. I plan to use this to my advantage as I have Buckingham observe the goings-on until he is pulled, quite literally, into them by Queen Margaret later in the scene. These nuances would not be as easy to bring about with all first scenes with all characters in the play, (or any play) so I intend to make the most of them.

Which is why I do enjoy and appreciate such discussions as the one the director and the cast had as we worked the scene. It encourages me to seek treasure in the deeper reaches of my characters, and that is particularly helpful for a character like this in a play such as this. (Shakespeare.)

The blocking of the scene was by no means interesting enough to discuss here. It usually isn't, in fact.

This was to be our last regular rehearsal for a while, as the director will be out of town for about a week. She has emailed each of us some character exercises she would like us to do each day of her absence, however. We do meet as a cast on Wednesday to go over some of those exercises. The director has appointed me as air traffic control for that evening, so I will be guiding as much as rehearsing that night. Hopefully my overseeing of such an evening will yield positive results for everyone involved.

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