Letters to Holly

Thursday, March 27

Day 28: Last Rehearsal

I honestly can't remember the last time I had a full runthrough between performance weekends. It's much more common to have sit-down linethroughs. But I understand why the director might want us to treat Wednesday as a show minus the audience. This show relies on tech timing and prop placement. We can't afford to lose our flow. But the majority of people present hate this full-serve practice. Prop Lady and the mistress, especially, are unhappy. The former didn't bring the crackers and cheese for the first act (I replace them with pilfered Cheerios backstage), and the makeup lady didn't even show up.

Your Sis came along to watch and talk to folks about the cast party. One crew member was worried about our preparation and casual demeanor to the point that I had to hand her off to Your Sis because she wouldn't listen to me anymore. We expect 30 people max. The crew member thinks we should prepare for more, so we both asked her separately where the other people were coming from. And as the crew member ticked off the potential attendees, she arrived at a number below 30. Really, I think we have this covered. We've done this before. We packed 15 people into one room last year for a linethrough, and we had leftovers for a week. This Sunday, we'll use the whole house and the back deck.

Also present was the previous show's Backseat Director, and he was taking photos of the play. Except he wasn't. Even though we were in full costume on a full set with all the lights, he wasn't happy with the blocking. When he wanted to take a picture, he completely rearranged us for what he considered the best photos. They're up on the theatre's website, and they are as stiff and bland as the pre-production pictures. He also only knows two angles: eye-level and high-angle. No birds-eye view, and everyone is on the same plateau; there's no variance in body placement. While he takes the pictures, he repeats his various photography rules (visible hands make a photo more interesting, what works onstage doesn't work in pictures, etc.), and he never says "please." He can't win with me.

The photos take longer than we'd like, and we begin the rehearsal 45 minutes after we're supposed to, and when we take the stage, we zoom through. Forget acting, we're reciting. We finish half an hour early even with full costumes. And, again, we're changing tech cues. While we rehearse, the director takes pictures offstage, and we freeze momentarily when we hear his camera chirping to warn of the photo.

I haven't looked at my script since Saturday, and all the lines are there. I stumble for a split-second when I get distracted by the kitchen staff and the offstage tech conversations, but all my material is still locked in la cabeza. Just three more shows, and I get my free time back to garden and paint and play videogames and run and cook and see the missus.

Picture of the Day
Here's the magnet for this show. I wanted to borrow the style of the True Detective magazines full of lurid criminal plots. I took the photo of the murderer and hid his eyes and dampened his neck definition to make the image a scoash more androgynous. I also changed his shirt to pink and reddened his lips. The show director is also the artistic director of the theatre, and I wouldn't mind making the company's posters.

No comments: