Letters to Holly

Tuesday, December 2

Rehearsal Fourteen: Bad Move

It's Tuesday afternoon.

1:15 I get a call from the director, saying we won't have a line-through. We will have the stage for a full-on rehearsal. Great! We can carry along whatever momentum we developed last night.

3:40 Another call. Nope, crossed wires. We're doing the line-through after all. #!%@.

The local paper ran our press release, including a photo. Look at this.

It doesn't suggest anything Scroogey, and we're not wearing any time-appropriate costumes. Doc and I are doing nothing. Why would anyone comes to see this show based on this photo? Also, I have luggage under my eyes.

The line-through starts with some notes. The costume chief wants us to dress up before Thursday's rehearsal, but the duds are at the warehouse. Do we meet there, dress up, and drive to the new stage area? It's never made clear. It appears this will, however, be the procedure for preparing our make-up as there is no functioning green room at the stage. We did this for last year's courtroom play. We sat at the warehouse for make-up and drove to the play location while praying we weren't pulled over for any reason.

The rehearsal starts fairly smoothly, and we get a groove going for the first 20+ pages. Then it crumbles. I have to work on my accent consistency. The rehearsal goes as before until we reach the second act. Some cast members peel off into the night as their work is done. But among them is Marley. He gathers up his daughter and walks out the door. The director, apparently unaware of any early deadline, calls after him, reminding him he still has lines. He doesn't respond. He's out the door and gone.

It's possible, and I want to give the benefit of the doubt, that he arranged an early departure with the director, and she forgot. It's possible he got an emergency call, and he left in a hurry. But without more evidence, it's also possible that he pulled off a dick move.

He likes to grumble. He makes comments throughout the play constantly. He doesn't like the pace, doesn't like the line problems, doesn't like this and that. I obviously have my concerns too, but I don't mumble them as the actors are struggling. I don't flop my hands about in a gratuitous display of misery. I don't throw around a trump card about years of experience.

Best case scenario for the matter: He had no choice.
Worst case: He's a dick.

The director reads his lines when we get to his Act Two material. We really and truly have to work on Act Two. It requires so much more energy than the first act, and it throws a lot of plot at the audience. The director ends the rehearsal by saying she's not concerned now with exact recitation of the script so long as we get the point across. But, she explains, we can't look for an exact cue from our fellow actors. Unfortunately, a lot of these cues are questions we are to answer. Hopefully we won't have to rework the original dialogue into our response to fit the inaccurate question we were asked. If we change our lines, then that scrambles the cue someone else needs. We make a chain of increased confusion.

Script: "How long have your worked for Misters Scrooge and Marley?"
Attorney: "Um, Bob, ... what is your opinion of Mister Scrooge?"
Me: "If I understand you right, sir, you want to know how long I worked for Scrooge and Marley, and the answer is ten years."
Attorney: "Ah, yes. yes."

It seemed to go somewhat better tonight, but it's an incremental improvement. There's small discussion about uncovering the Future Ghost's face to show my expressions. But the director poo-poos that. And I'm glad. I hope Thursday to rehearse that scene in my ghost costume.


Anonymous said...

can't wait to see this play on dvd if not in person.

Gregory said...

It will be funny. Intentionally or otherwise.