Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Penultimate Rehearsal

If you count the public preview on Thursday as a performance, (which I do), than last night was the second-to-final rehearsal we will have for Richard III.

It was somewhat rougher than the previous night. Nobody got locked out of the building this time, but there were several tech issues. And though I didn't notice them myself, (as none took place in any of my scenes), it seems there were line issues throughout the play. Both other actors and the director commented on this. The director feels it is anomalous, as they cast has been a lot better with lines in the same places that were flubbed last night. Let us hope it was indeed an anomaly.

Two things of note. To begin with, the crowd scene. I ran it for the first time last night with the edited lines. (We have taken the tiny role of "Lord Mayor" out of that scene for logistics reasons.) This required me to change some of my lines in places, and to take on one of the Mayor's line's myself. It worked last night, and I have been reviewing it myself at home since last night. I don't anticipate much difficulty, though I still have to get it correct in the heat of the moment. I did last night, and I will feel at least somewhat better if I do so tonight as well.

I also hope to be more energetic and emphatic from now on when I run that scene. It went without major incident as I said, but I still tread a bit softly when it approaches. Probably because I am ever so slightly nervous whenever it comes around. (Such a huge part of my performance...)

Second thing of note is the ghost scene. I mention in my last entry that I would have a quick costume change between Buckingham's execution and his appearance as a ghost. It turns out I underestimated how much time I have. In my head it felt like it would be a lot shorter between scenes, but in reality I was able to comfortable cross to the other side of backstage, put my costume pieces back on, receive the short and sweet ghost make-up application, and get to my place. With time to spare, even. I will not have time to dawdle, but I will have time to walk. Briskly.

The ghost scene itself feels better and better almost each time I do it. I have it that Buckingham almost enjoys being a ghost at this point. At least for a few minutes to torment Richard. "A different type of ghost" as our director described it early on, I am going more for smug and loud, than slithering and creepy like most of the other ghosts. (I also enter from a different place than they.) I hope to convey someone that, through the lens of ghostliness, is eager to arrive, and then highly satisfied with the outcome as he take his time to torment.

Sadly, an actress was missing last night due to illness, and I was unable to perform Buckingham's execution speech scene in the proper way. (She is the one that is on stage with me at the time.) The speech itself I think went well, but I always feel rushed, even if I am not. The slams and bangs of the tech crew moving stuff backstage as I speak probably doesn't help. Nonetheless I feel I can add more.

Jumping out of order here all the way back to my first scene, the director gave Margaret a note in regards to her interaction with my character. She didn't give many specifics, but it involves making use of my personal hand prop. In theory I should be able to hearken back to what Margaret does there during the execution speech. We will see how that goes.

If this update seems fragmented, it is. This week we are all to behave as though we were performing in front of an audience, which meant we are no longer able to watch anything from the house. The only indication those of us off stage get as to what is going on is a fuzzy baby monitor stationed in the green room. I can say that it is coming together, and should be in good shape from Thursday, if we all stay focused. But specifics, outside of the scenes I am in, are difficult to determine as it stands now.

Also somewhat difficult to grasp is that this very night will be our final rehearsal. So often they seem to sneak up on actors and directors. But we are ready. once everyone gets well again (soon, hopefully), things will be set.

No comments: