Letters to Holly

Friday, October 5

Act Three lines

A mid-day email states that Brick from Cat is on board as the private eye, and I assume he'll start next Wednesday when we get back to Act One. He'll be fine in the role, but I have to admit top a surprising streak of nervousness now. The stupid voice in my head frets aloud about the chances that the director will switch our roles. It's inexplicable. It's silly. But there it is, gnawing away at my brains. Something in me is intimidated by the actor.

We start tonight with the housekeeper scene from Act One because that actress is going away for another week. I'm not ready for this bit, and I have to use my script more than I'd like. That done, we start Act Three. The judge is absent so the defendant's real-life son reads for him and does much better with no previous reading. Too bad he's about 16. He does despair mightily when he flips the last pages to see the length of the closing arguments. All he can do is sit it out. Rehearsals can be pretty damn boring if you have no lines. This is why I did so much drawing during the last show.

I have pretty good energy with the defendant tonight. I'm trying to vary the delivery, making the attorney play dumb in some areas and quickly going into attack mode on the next line. This is the classic attorney style we've seen on TV and in movies. This is the fun stuff. You can hear the whispering of actors memorizing their lines or simply chatting as we run the act, and this is good practice for ignoring rude audience members. I'm not saying these people are rude (I'm memorizing lines at my attorney table too), but you have to build up your anti-distraction muscles.

I need to find a quote for this show's "poster" magnet, and the best lines are in this act. This is where people make dramatic declarations of the lengths they'd travel to get what they want. The father-in-law actor is already off book for this act, and it makes me admire him all the more. The gangster is close to leaving his script behind too. These are good actors, and they're relishing their roles. I'm reading while delivering my closing argument, and I don't have a handle on it yet. It's so full of exclamation points that I'm actually getting frothy by the third page (third page!). The director instructs both attorneys to walk with confidence as we stroll the courtroom and says she's wisely decided not to choreograph our movements. We'll move as the script and mood directs us. I appreciate that. I'll be able to swagger more when I'm not reading, walking, and talking.

I have ten days to finish memorizing the script and give myself two full weeks of rehearsals before we open. I have about 20 pages left to go, and it's feasible. I feel good about my pace of learnin'.

Dusting Off Act One
Line Trouble
End of Second Week
'Go and Do Likewise, Gents'
Script Work
Walking and Talking
Marking the Floor


First Night
Second Night
Third Night
Fourth Night

Picture of the Day
The summer home.

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