Letters to Holly

Wednesday, October 10

Getting Serious

The Friday rehearsal, and the absence of so many, forced the director to add Sunday rehearsals, something I had hoped to avoid. I do agree that we need more focused rehearsals, but I'd argue for doing more with our weeknights. We're still rehearsing just one act each night, and we should tackle at least two of the three acts instead. A mid-day email laid down the law on actors appearing for rehearsals and focused on the youngsters. She can only refer to the two college kids, but we've also had plenty of the older actors not show up. For instance, the new clerk isn't here tonight. I haven't seen the medical examiner in about a week. The girl who plays the secretary -- and has no lines -- has shown up like clockwork, reading lines for the missing actors. I'd seriously consider giving her one of the speaking roles and demoting someone to her role. The housekeeper from act one shows up tonight and wants to run her scene, but it's from Act One, and I didn't prepare for that. We run it, and I do passably well, I suppose.

I spent the later afternoon going over my Act Two lines. It's the smallest amount of dialogue I have, and it should be the first act I can do from memory. But I screw up at the rehearsals. I don't have my script in hand (hoping to avoid the crutch), and I blank twice when talking to two witnesses. I'm not relying on cue lines for my stuff, and I stumble when the other actors pause to search for words. They were also off book. The new calendars tell us we have 16 scheduled rehearsals before we open, and I want to be off script as soon as possible. I do notice a change in stride and posture. I'm upright, more confident. I'm getting lawyery. The defendant actress has her script at hand, but she's using it as little as possible. What we really need is someone to read along and give us lines when asked. The judge could do it, and it would force him to follow along for his lines. I'm still considering making a script tape for my commute. When I'm sitting at the attorney table, I frantically review my script.

We speak a little on costumes beforehand, and I tell the director what the costumer told me. I'm not giving up on my $5 suit. I try on another jacket, and it's too big for me. Thank God, too. It's heavy and thick, and would kill me if I wore it for three hours each night. The secretary and the defendant want the same pair of shoes, and the secretary eventually wins them by the end of the night.

I'm taking a rare lunch break today to go over Act One. I want to do it fully off script.

I should also note that the cast is agog by my many geeky t-shirts. We spend some time each night talking about them.

Official play website

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
Emma Peel. Just 'cause.

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