Letters to Holly

Thursday, December 21

Day Twelve: Memory

Big Daddy, Brick, and Maggie are there early to take promo pictures for the local press. They are in costume. Brick has a SWANK purple robe and his cast. Big Daddy has a white suit, and Maggie has a thin violet dress. We start right around seven and run through the play. I have spent a few hours memorizing and running my lines. Tonight, I look at the script very little as I wait offstage for my cue lines.

It's nerve-wracking because the lines haven't truly taken root in my brain, and I don't quite trust they'll be ripe when the time comes. And as I'm saying the lines, they feel weird. But as soon as they are out in the air, I know that I have them. In fact, my only memory snafu happens in Act Two, when I change "we gave them that thing for a third anniversary present" into "we gave them that thing three years ago for an anniversary present." No one notices. It's not important; the next line has nothing to do with what Gooper says. I learn my lines based on who speaks last, not what they say. That way I can get my line right even if they mess up.

After a quick break in the middle of Act Two, we finish the play eight minutes faster than we did Wednesday. As that time will shrink even more once we abandon the scripts. I have just one more rehearsal next week before we convene in the new year. I'll memorize Act Three lines in the next few days to try those out. This is the chore of acting. There's no mnemonic device to get around sitting and learning.

I think I did OK for acting. I'm still not vocally hitting all my lines as I'd like. But sometimes, my breath flow will make a line's cadence change in a way that I think works better. I note in the script how to vocalize that line the same way by either underline words to peak with or drawing lines curving up or down to suggest how I'll push them out of my mouth. We perform.

Looking at the calendar, I note that we open the curtain in less than a month: January 19.

Previous entries:
Day One: Reading It Through
Day Two: Act Two
Day Three: Reading Act Two
Day Four: Talking It Through
Day Five: Blocking Act Two
Day Six: Act Two Redux
Day Seven: Reading Act Three
Day Eight: The Da Gooper Code
Day Nine: The Laying On of Hands
Day Ten: Pictures and Pages
Day Eleven: Onstage

Picture Link of the Day
Here's what it looks like inside a small comics convention. This is a page for the Greenville show where I picked up my recent anthology goodies.

1 comment:

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