Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is our job....

Today I woke up and rehearsal did not start until 3:30pm.
Now I must say for someone who used to wake up at 3:30am to make his way to serve lattes in the Third Ward for almost three years - and THEN go to a serving job and THEN rehearsal or a show and finally hit the sack at 11 or 12 at night, only to start it all over again in a few short hours ... this shift in timing is a welcomed change.

But this is our job now. We get to play. And that is wonderful.
And trust me, the late start time is nice, but there are also times - as I remarked to Michael Wright today in rehearsal - that I am pleasantly surprised when I am reminded we actually get paid for this.

The worst part about our job is memorizing our lines. Hopefully this is gotten out of the way fairly early on - because after that - it is not necessarily smooth sailing - but it is always a pleasant journey. Even when it is hard. Sometimes, especially when it is hard.

But today the journey seemed smooth. We blocked the first scene in Occupational Therapy, with Mary, Peter and me. Much like how we are all still feeling each other out as actors and artists on the second day of rehearsal, this scene had to deal with three characters and how they navigate getting to know each other for the first time - which informs the relationships as we progress through the rest of the show.
At one moment, we find ourselves spending a great deal of time talking about Peter's character's 'drawing' - which is not even there on the page, but since we as characters see it, we discussed what it might look like.
Just to say, it is not a nice 'drawing' - blood, knives and whatnot as the script indicates, but we sat and talked about it, tried to pose it in our minds, Peter even used Mary and I to demonstrate what he thought the script might be indicating. And that was ten minutes of our day. Playing out what a stalker/psycho's 'drawing' might look like. Finally, it was suggested that we all draw our own interpretation and bring it in and we would vote which one we thought fit best.

You may read that and think .... really, that's your job? And I will say, Yes ... and it is incredibly important work. We get to imagine for a minute what a particular moment in time is like, for an entirely fictional character. To breathe life into words - to form a sentence - and a sequence of events - that develop into a character. Hopefully one that you believe in, are intrigued by, can relate to and care about. And sometimes, it is our job to make you hate them.
But that is what we have the honor and opportunity to do.
It takes time to wonder, to think, to open your eyes to all the sorts of possibilities why a character is constructed the way they are, and it takes a lot of ten minute sessions - like the one regarding Peter's drawing, to create a sequence of precise choices to tell the story you want the audience to hear.

Our job is to rehearse our imagination. And that is wonderful.

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