Thursday, January 16, 2014

One Man Show: Progress Report

The other day I sat down and delivered my one man show out loud to myself, in its entirety for the first time. (Stage directions included.) It took one hour and 20 minutes, which is quite close to ideal this early on.

That time will of course expand once stage movement and other performance factors are considered. But that time will also contract once I become familiar with the text and can deliver it by memory. So I'm thinking an hour ten to an hour twenty is close to the actual final performance time, barring any major changes I would make to the script.

Right now, I don't foresee any major changes to it. The sequence works and the nature of the non-Shakespearean speeches have a good mixture of information, reflection and entertainment, which is key.

There are many Shakespearean speeches in the show. That's the point, after all, to examine the kings in the histories. But if the line I deliver between those speeches ring false or put people to sleep, it simply wont matter how well I deliver the Shakespeare.

I still need to evolve the nature of the base-character for the same reasons. He has to be someone with whom an audience wants to spend time for that hour and 20 minutes, without being someone that overshadows the drama of the Shakespeare. I had a vision in my head of what sort tone to set with who I am calling "The Actor", and my first full-reading showed me it could work in some ways, and might not work in others. Part mad-scientist and part Olivier and part Woody Allen is how he comes off right now. Nothing intrinsically wrong with any of those components in their own right, but the balance between them could probably be adjusted. That's what I will be working on the most in the coming sessions.

Through it all, I think of lines off the cuff that would sound better than the ones I have written down, or at least enhance them. I will eventually write down some of these, I suppose, and will continue to polish and tweak the writing. But the general flow seems to be in place now, and seems it will work, once individual sentences are polished.

Long way to go so far. But, to paraphrase a famous observation, it is perhaps the end of the beginning. Keep coming back here to see how it progresses. I might even have an official title for it the next time I post...

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