Monday, July 17, 2017

Roadblocks and Silver Linings

There's just no way around the fact that blocking out a play can take a while. While I don't rehearse tonight, I go back tomorrow, and that will be the first time my final, (and frankly, best) scene is blocked out. It happens to be the final scene in the play, which means, in theory, we will be able to start rehearsing and creating the character stuff.

We didn't have access to the theatre on Thursday, so we were forced to use a building next door in which I've never been before. I've never rehearsed a scene in a smaller space in my life, and that includes rooms in people's homes.

Yet I didn't mind so much. The play is a bit claustrophobic in a sense, just a collection of men all at odds with one another over goals and styles, scraping to get what they need or want out of each other within the myopic scope of 1980's real estate selling. Though we won't be performing in the aforementioned tiny space, being there for one night heightening this sense of myopia. (Block was basically out of the question, so we worked on a scene that requires almost no blocking; the first one, which take places at a table.)

You have that sometimes in volunteer theatre. Small road blocks exist, or will be thrown up in front of you and the rest of the cast at last minute. It isn't probably to cancel rehearsal every time this happens, so you do what you can. Often, the result of the challenge, (aside from initial worry) is a new emotion, a new take, a new line read that shine a different line on the scene, the play, or the character. Even when the roadblock itself is removed and rehearsal resumes as normal, that which arises from the added pressure of the roadblock often remains in the remaining rehearsals and on to the performance.

An actor must be in control, know what he is doing, and leave very little to chance...eventually. But there are times, often earlier in the process, when chance does play a large role in shaping what we do with our performances. The windows that are opened during trying times sometimes more than make up for the doors that are shut.

For me, rehearsal for the next three nights. Who knows what roadblocks and silver linings await the process in those evenings.

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