Letters to Holly

Wednesday, October 17

Act Two Redux

I'm not saying I'm sold on the idea of the cleaning lady, but I could get spoiled by her. She did a nice job, but my happiness with her work is mirrored by the shame of seeing how badly I let my house go. A responsible adult shouldn't need to pay someone to sweep up the cat hair, you know? TWO responsible adults shouldn't need a third. I haven't found anything missing yet, so maybe she isn't going to eBay my toys.

Tonight's rehearsal is for Act Two, and while I read over that part before supper, I made myself promise I wouldn't open the script during the run-through. This is the quickest, easiest chunk of the play for me. I don't need the script, no matter what my anxieties say. All the principals for the act are here, except the bailiff, and everyone is off-book. Doc and the defendant, have the hardest time, but they have the notions of what they're supposed to say. The helpful script reader keeps us straight. The Swedish housekeeper is employing a stammer, possibly unintentional, that throws me off for my lines with her. We work over the dramatic entrance of the gangster at the end of the act.

I find that without the script and with a dictated confidence that I'm now focusing on hand gestures and choreographed hand/hip placement. I also now have table props including actual copies of New York warrants and a fountain pen so I can fake note-taking. This gives me some business for when I stand up and call or interrogate witnesses. Flint is assembling around me simply by using the space around him.

I still get comments about all my memorization, and I explain it's sparked by fear. And it is. We're rehearsing for a space we won't see for another week and reliant on an audience-culled jury to behave themselves. The only things I can control are my lines and demeanor. I must be prepared to improv throughout the play. I've already scripted out what I can do if Doc loses his lines by calling for a sidebar with the judge. The judge can read him his lines from the script he'll no doubt have on hand. For instance, Doc continues to call for his first witness and forgets he's supposed to talk to him first. He sits at his table and tries to cue me to stand up and get going. He's also started to poke me during one of the lawyer arguments. I'm not sure how to respond to that. I'm positive that would be cause for a contempt citation on a real court. Maybe I should take out my pocket square and wipe away his assuredly dingy finger residue.

Official play website

Friday Through Sunday
Getting Serious
Our First Friday
Act Three Lines
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 Golden Girls are shockingly popular online.

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