Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
But isn't that just like an actor to go straight to the drinking and the party, skipping straight over the part about the show itself. We had a nice size crowd, not big not small, and it seemed like it took them a little bit of time to warm up into the show. They were laughing at it, and yet at the moments when I expected silence I was rewarded with it. They seemed to go with the ending bit where all the chaos and destruction erupts onstage, laughing it up as Michelle and I shoved cake into each other's face. Then we got to go to that reception and have people compliment the show. Now every actor likes being told how good he was, but for this show it was even better. This physical work is something that I've never done before, and it's great to hear that it connects with people, and that they can really appreciate the art that we are bringing to it. We have three more shows to go and then it's over. I wish we were doing more, but I'm also excited to head off for R&J. But I'll miss this character, this show, these people. I made great friends here, which is one of the reasons to do it.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
So, this is one of the promised pictures of us learning to rappel. That's Dave on the ground with me, our firefighter who helped train us. You can see the scaffolding from which we are working, hanging off into the middle of nothing.
The harness has been getting more and more uncomfortable as I added other costume pieces to it. It's really rough to be up on the balcony waiting in my harness, hooked up to my line. But it's still one of the coolest things to do on stage.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
As the final step, we moved out over an open section of air, since our descent in the show will not have the aid of a wall to jump down. That one was a little harder for me at first, since I wasn't quite prepared to go swinging into the middle of the air like I did. But Dave had prepared us well, so I recovered pretty quickly and made a nice landing. All three of us did very well, including our hesitant actor who is a little afraid of heights. It was hands down one of the most fun days of rehearsal ever; all the girls were very jealous of the fun that we got to have 15 feet above the ground. But this post alone cannot do justice to the moment, so some pictures will follow. The technical director was taking photos as we were working, and I've been promised some of those shots for this blog. So when I get the pictures, you'll get to see them.
I talked up both Big Love and Romeo and Juliet, and I'm trying to get the Fellows to come up and see Big Love. They run a show that weekend, but it's possible that they could come see a final preview or a dress rehearsal. Fellows came to see my production of Getting Married when I ran that at Bloomsburg, and I hope they can come see this one as well.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
After everyone else was released, Michelle and I continued to work on our dance/murder at the end of the show. Just like the time before, it was great to work one-on-one with her, with Tim advising and guiding our work. We came up with some great moves that combine sex with violence, including two lifts where I get to throw her around. It's fun work, although I realize one bicep is a little sore today. I still have two weeks or so to get into shape.
Tonight we blocked the finale of the show, in which our dance troupe joined rehearsals and we worked out how all the brides would kill their husbands. It was a pretty wild night, but the best part by far was that Michelle and I got a chance to work on our own for a bit on our encounter. Since she and I are the "principle" couple, and I am the first husband to die, we had the chance to improvise a bit of an encounter before I actually die. I liked bringing elements of my work with Enchantment to the show, including some very physical movement and a little bit of the dance work we had done with Cinderella. Michelle and I worked really well together, and she wasn't at all shy to voice her own ideas or to tell me that there was something better than the one I had come up with. Those are important qualities to have in a castmate, particularly someone with whom I will be working so closely. We didn't quite get to finish the whole sequence, but we'll keep working at it over the next few days. I'm again, very excited.
After running the second half of Big Love at rehearsal, we loaded ourselves into two vehicles and flew along Route 78 to get into New York City to see the Signature Theatre Company’s production of Iphegenia 2.0, another play by our own playwright Charles Mee. Another modern re-telling of a classic Greek myth, it also blurred the line between historical piece and modern play, with characters named Agamemnon and Menalaus talking about Jeeps and RPGs. It was a lot of fun to see a professional production of one of Mee's plays, especially since they have the budget and the resources to do the kind of spectacle that his plays demand.
The performers were amazing, using their voices and their bodies very well to tell the story. It was also a lot of fun to see Kate Mulgrew, Star Trek Voyager's Captain Janway, onstage in such a large theatrical piece. She was very effective, capturing attention and focus when needed, and seeming at home in the physical demands of such a role. This play also contained the sequences of music and dance that are in Big Love, as well a sequence of intense destruction and celebration at the very end. All in all, I liked the production. I enjoyed the story elements of Big Love more, but I liked the way the spectacle functioned in Iphegenia. It seemed more organic and less forced.
We also had a great time. In the car with the director and three girls of the cast, we talked and laughed all the way into the city, and then played a fantastic mix CD on the way out. I asked everyone there to think of driving music for me for when I leave on tour, and it was a fun time with some new friends.
Above all, I was struck by the dedication and passion of the performers in this New York production. And I realize that when doing a Charles Mee play, the stakes must always be very high. Everything is a matter of life or death, and a high level of committment must accompany every moment. This play is a challenge, and I love it.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I'm very excited to work on the show again. People have sometimes asked me how I choose which plays to do, or which jobs to accept, and I can only say that I choose what I think is going to be one of two things. I want things to either advance my career and skills, or I want to have fun. Recently, I've been very lucky about picking projects that do both for me. All of these projects are teaching me things, and I'm having a ball doing them. It was great to see everyone at the meeting today, and I promise, promise, that I will write about filming here on this blog. I'm really looking forward to it, even though it means that I have many more lines to learn.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Wednesday night was the first rehearsal for Big Love since last Saturday. And as I treaded the boards, I was very aware that I hadn’t thought about the show since then. The blocking and character work were buried deep in my head, but the lines took a little longer to come back to me. But everyone seemed a little sluggish as well, and it was also our first day as a company to work with our lead actress again. Her understudy had been rehearsing for a week, as our leading lady happened to be on a week long cruise. So part of the night was spent working her into new scenes, as well as working on old scenes now that we had her back. We didn't get as far as Tim hoped to get, but we at least made it to the entrance of the guys, and we got to throw our weight around onstage for a bit.