Tonight is our final dress rehearsal for D&S. We had a very good run last night in the theatre, and we have another one tonight. Our director said that last night we put up a very strong skeleton framework for the show, and so tonight at rehearsal we need to work on pulling more of the heart and spirit into everything. We are also having line problems. It's an interesting problem to have this late in the game, but there is it. We are working on such a language-heavy play, we have spent months now focusing on the language and making sure that we are getting word-perfect on all our lines. As the shows get closer, though, we are still focused on getting all of our words correct, the director noticed that we are sometimes leaving the immediate world of the play to "fix" a mistake that we've made. Or else she can see us concentrating on the words that come next.
When I do talkbacks with student audiences, one of the questions that always comes up is "how do you learn all those lines?" Every actor has a different answer as to how they memorize. But the more interesting problem to me is - how do you make those lines feel like realistic speech and not just the words that you're saying? Personally, that is always a step that comes very late in the process for me. I will usually always focus on the blocking first and then the text second. Once the lines and the moves are firmly in my body, it is a lot easier for me to engage my imagination and let the words live as natural reactions in my body. It's usually then, once I've mastered all those technical details, that I can really let myself live in the moment. Lucky for me, that usually happens in the week before we open, and I'm able to play in those moments for the run of the show.