Letters to Holly

Monday, October 15

Friday Through Sunday

I spent my dinner Friday night gobbling supper and checking the script before running into the rehearsal late. The usual cadre is there waiting, and I walk from the door to the attorney's table, and we start about a minute later. I'm worn out from practice and work stuff. I blank on the third line of the opening argument, but our new stage manager feeds me the line. I have to ask for small lines throughout the run-through (we're doing the whole play tonight, and of course we're missing people). There are some parts of the dialogue that I'm saying aloud totally by habit. I have no idea what my line is supposed to be but I hear myself saying the right stuff while the passenger in my brain marvels at what can only be muscle memory.

I cram over Act Two between the acts. I'm starting to develop a nice rapport with the Swedish housekeeper and the gangster. He and I are plotting at how to make the most of what we assume would be a throughly hate-filled relationship. The Brick actor is already off-book for the PI role, and the new widow actress is hitting her emotional moments well. Whenever Doc blanks on his lines and is reminded offstage, he yells "awh!" as if the revived memory is blasted into him from across the room.

Saturday was my college homecoming (15 years), and of course no one else from my class is there. We stroll the campus for about two hours, I show You Sis all my haunts and stories, and we find one of my yearbooks to thumb through. We do this every year; it has to bore her senseless. I stretch my guy muscles after by installing new toilet seats at home and changing out my workshop door handle with a knob lock.

I have to do this last part because, and I'd never thought I'd say this, we're hiring a cleaning lady. The woman lost a client to a nursing home, and she works for a fellow teacher. Your Sis offered to take her one every other week to help us tidy. But I ad paranoid, and I don't like having a stranger in my house when I'm not there. Because I have anxiety about strangers ebaying all my geek stuff, I'm locking up my workshop while she's there. Your Sis doesn't want me doing all the housework, and school is taking up the vast majority of her home time. And as my objections are founded on neurosis, I don't have much of a footing to oppose this. Good luck to the new lady for cleaning cat hair every other week.

The Sunday rehearsal unfortunately kept me from watching the much-vaunted Dallas/New England game live, but I did TiFaux it while I had another whole-play runthrough. Because this was added so late in the practice schedule, a lot of people couldn't make it apparently. Doc gave up tickets to another theatre show to be here. And as we begin Act One, it's the two of us, the gangster, the father-in-law, the clerk, the bailiff, and the medical examiner. That's all the actors. My brain hurts from reviewing the script for more than an hour before we begin. Doc is exhausted and annoyed at the scheduling. I can do a bit more acting and less reciting. I'm distracted by my rumbling stomach, and drinking about a gallon of water between lines doesn't help.

We run Act One with lots of substitutions, and when Act Two starts, we're down to the attorneys, the gangster and the father-in-law. That's it. The bailiff and ME are allowed to go home to watch the game. That leaves the four actors who already best know their lines. I don't think this day improved us in any way. Halfway through, I could have spit nails. I'm not batting a thousand on my lines, but we still have 12 rehearsals to go, and I'm on schedule to memorize all my lines by Tuesday. These consecutive full-play runs will make the act-specific practices seem easy by comparison.

I was comforted when I got home by a per pie. I don't normally like pears. They taste like the bad parts of apples and potatoes. But when pears are baked, my my my, think I'll have twelve helpings. Your Sis did that while I was yelling at gangsters.

Official play website

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

The NFL Contest
NFC: New Orleans (1-4), St. Louis (0-6)
AFC: Indianapolis (5-0), New England (5-0)

NFC: New Orleans (1-4), Carolina (4-2)
AFC: New England (5-0), San Diego (3-3)

New England went off on Dallas yesterday, helping me to an almost certain fantasy victory (my opponent had a team playing tonight).

Picture of the Day
Maybe I need a monster roller derby.

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