Letters to Holly

Tuesday, February 19

Day 8: Act Two Again

Other stuff from this past weekend:

1) We did our taxes and got a nice federal refund, despite a lull in our charity giving. I think Your Sis really wants a new HD TV.

2) One of our favorite local restaurants temporarily lost my ATM card. I paid the bill, and the card fell out on the way back to our table. I freaked. Your Sis freaked. The waitress, upon handing us the card, was nonchalant. She offered no apology for it nor did she sympathize. Your Sis almost decked her. This oddly happened right after we talked about closing out my first credit card account, the last burden of my first marriage.

I've walked around every rehearsal with the script binder in my hands and a pencil behind my ear. Tonight, the mistress wanted to add props (wigs, glasses, bottles, letters), and it screwed me up. I was juggling while trying to emote and get the lines right, and I gave up after half an hour. She also wanted to negotiate our kisses, now that we're both past our colds. I decided my guy would be a cheek kisser; he's too square and dispassionate to be a full-on smoocher. So that's what we did. This is the third play where I'm kissing someone onstage, and it's a nice little perk if you get along with the actress. I already warned Your Sis about it, and she was OK.

She and the murderer try on the blonde wigs, and I think they settle on a bob hairstyle. I'm a bit jealous as I don't get to wear a wig, but then again: kisses. We also have walls for the set, complete with two doors and a window. It makes the set looks much smaller. We're told right off that the set will need to squeeze back a bit as the stage is smaller than our arranged rehearsal space. It won't be so bad an adjustment this early. The walls shake when the doors close, but I'm sure they'll fix that later on.

The first scene of Act Two is the most normal. The widower and mistress play house, and the murderer shows up to lower the boom on the widower. It's a lot of slow exposition, and my guy shifts from happy-go-lucky to whining guilt in 12 pages. It's the duldrums of the play, and there's not much we can do to spice it up except move around a lot. And we do. My default stage direction is to head back to the bar. I will drink something onstage throughout the play. Probably apple juice. The murderer has to chug Coke the whole show. We may need pisspots backstage.

I haven't had this substantial a role in this small a cast in a decade, and I'm exhausted. I drag going home, I drag going back to the warehouse, and it's harder to retain the new lines. It will be much better when we aren't holding scripts, and Wednesday night will be our first off-book rehearsal. The murderer (a high-school student) is of course cramming at the last second. But with his youth and homework-honed brain, he might be OK. I'm running my lines during my commute. And tomorrow I start memorizing Act Two, which conveniently is broken up into real scenes. Act One is just an entire scene.

Picture of the Day
Colbert the Crusader

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