Last night we blocked Act IV, Scene 2. It is a pivotal scene, for the audience as well as my character. It is the scene where Richard, now crowned king, turns his back on Buckingham, heretofore his most trusted counselor. Often, in productions of this play, it is the moment when the audience abandons whatever remaining morbid admiration it has for the protagonist. Whether or not that is what will happen in our production, one things is clear; I have an important job to do in this scene. In fact, it may be the most important moment I have in the play.
My task is a difficult one here. I must find enough within me to convey not only the deep shock of Richard's request to kill the princes in the Tower, but I must get to the place where I can convey this sudden shifting the dynamic. Buckingham has been complicit with Richard and his "complots" up until this moment. Right then, however, it all changed. Not only for me, but for Richard. I must not only present a convincing portrayal of my character's paradigm shift, but I must also respond in an effective manner to the shift Richard makes.
In short, there are several huge tone shifts happening in a short amount of time, and I need to internalize them all as an actor. I have broad strokes in mind as to how to do it now, and some decent moments so far. Naturally this will be somewhat easier once we are off book, but it will require much consideration on my part. It is one of the larger acting challenges I have had in a while, I dare say.
It all begins with a full portrait of Buckingham. I'm still working on that. Once complete, (or as near complete as an actor can expect to have in the time allowed), I will have something on which to ponder and meditate as the weeks go on. It will be both potentially exciting and potentially troublesome. I must allow no shortcuts. I must take the journey of this character as best I can. I do so for every character, but not every character I play requires as much consideration and foundation-building as this. Often a throw-away role, I insist on my Duke of Buckingham having depth, strength, intelligence, and by the end of the play, humanity. I look forward to sharing this important journey with you, loyal blog readers.
Tonight, according to the schedule, we'll be running a few scenes that have been mostly blocked already. (Though I was absent when some of them were blocked earlier in the week, if I am not mistaken.) But the schedule changed a bit last night, so tonight's agenda may be altered as well by the time I get to the theatre. It should go without saying by now that I'll fill you in here once it's over.