Letters to Holly

Wednesday, September 26

Script Work

After a quick home dinner of soup and bread, I bebop over to the warehouse and walk in with the actress playing the Swedish housekeeper. The director says I'm doing some good work, and I thank her for taking a chance on a new guy. Some theatres won't, and many have good reasons to; you never know when a potentially good applicant will bomb out on lines or professionalism. Doc overhears and mentions that we met on Cat, and it turns out some of these folks saw the play. They ask who I was, I tell them, and then I hear the best compliment a guy can get: "You were Gooper?!"

We run Act Two. It's easier on my character. He has lighter moments and fewer lines. The first witness in this act is the second housekeeper, and it's a broad comedy bit. She's gossipy and indignant. The attorney razes her on her accent and nosiness. Then I cross examine the Swedish bookkeeper and lob softballs to Whitfield, the rich father-in-law. That actor continues to bring the awesome. He's got the right carriage and gestures to the jury. Also has a fantastic stage voice. The girl playing my secretary doubles as the court clerk. The actress playing the defendant tries out a Swedish accent, but it's coming out a little Hungarian. Not that her character has a set background; she can play it with any accent.

We work on the timing of the judge's gavel banging, and he's still having trouble following along even with the script sitting in front of him. He hasn't highlighted his lines and directions. Meanwhile others of us are not only walking and talking but writing our improved stage movements in our scripts while we're walking and talking. The judge has to be nudged into reading his lines most of the time. It's as if he's never read a script before, yet he's supposedly a veteran of this theatre.

While the other attorney is questioning his star witnesses, I flip back to Act One to learn more lines. It's tricky to read them and mentally recite them while making sure I don't miss a cue in Act Two. I'm up to page 20 now. That's the opening argument and three witnesses, but I have three more and 15 pages left in this act to learn. And when I get Act One memorized, that's only one-third of the play. I'd like to be off-script by Oct. 15, giving me two full weeks of rehearsals without the book before we open. I'm starting to wake up with the script bouncing in my brain, waiting to be recited.

Because I didn't sleep well the night before, I woke up Tuesday morning so groggy that I broke down and bought a frappuccino. I nursed that for most of the workday, and when I got home, Your Sis handed me another one she just bought at the store. I took that to rehearsal and was practically hovering through the runthrough. I woke up this morning somewhat rested but again with the last witness lines tapping on the inside of my forehead. A few minutes later, there I stand in the shower, giving my lawyer eyes to the shampoo bottle. I'll see how well I know these 20 pages tonight as we hit Act One for the first time since last week.

Walking and Talking
Marking the Floor


First Night
Second Night
Third Night
Fourth Night

Picture of the Day
It's just your spaaace waaalkin',
telling me lies.


Anonymous said...

woah, kc and the sunshine band? he has a home, well one of his homes, in Carrboro, NC.

Gregory said...

"Jive Talkin'" is Bee Gees, little lady.

But KC's "Boogie Shoes" and this song both appear on the soundtrack to 'Saturday Night Fever.'

This has been another episode of 'Know Your Disco.'

Somebody hit mah music! [dances, shames the missus]