Those are the words of our director, after tonight's rehearsal. one can either assume she lied, or that we did in fact do great tonight. I think the latter is the safer bet.
In fact I myself feel that last night and tonight have been my two best rehearsals so far in the process. Though I am always looking for ways to improve, if my performances go as well as my rehearsal performances did tonight, I would in most ways be satisfied.
Yet I'm also grateful to have the week to hone things even more.
I of course can't speak for anyone else in the cast, so I don't know how good each person thought of their own performances. And I don't see every moment. But once again, the director said it was our best night so far, so who am I to argue with that? She's the one that has too see it as a whole entity, after all. But it did feel solid.
And fast. Seems like both acts ran less than an hour. Very close to 90 minutes of performance time total. Yes, the script has been edited for length from the original, but that's still some fast tragedy there, folks. Assuming we keep that pace when we perform, I would think it very difficult for audiences to even have time to become bored.
Not that I don't get a little nervous before the "big" scene for Malcolm in our show, that being Act IV, Scene 3. But I am less nervous about it now than I was a week ago by quite a bit.
Costumes are in place as well, though I am supposed to get a beret at some point. I'd be thrilled if I didn't have to wear one of those, as I have already opted for changing hairstyles between "Prince" Malcolm, and the Malcolm that will soon be king. But if a beret it is, so be it, I suppose. I'll find a way to make it work.
Making Malcolm work. It sounds like the name of a lousy indie-film, but it is in fact an apt description of my overall mission in this play. No character on the stage, especially in Shakespeare is effortless, if you want it to be a good performance. Yet some characters just challenge the efficiency of our work, and for me Malcolm has been one of those. Still is to some extent. So much so that I considered "making him interesting" my prime objective in the start of this process. Make him real. He's a device in many productions, and I was determined not to let that be the case in this one. Work remains on this goal, but I'm willing to say I am on the home stretch of that journey. If nothing else I feel I have raised Malcolm from the level of pipe-laying poetry vessel to living, breathing character with desires. It's been the case all along, according to some of my cast mates, but it is only in the last two nights that I have begun to start feeling this internally in a way I want to, more often than not.
But I'm covering territory I have already covered here over the last several weeks. Suffice to say for now that though it be draining at times, I have at last begun to present a depth to Malcolm in my performances that I find acceptable. At times, beyond that.
One cast member mentioned to me and Macduff how much the enjoyed our big scene together. If others are noticing it, we are doing something right. Here's hoping audiences feel the same way.