Friday, April 16, 2010

Transitioning to the Space....

As I promised, I am back and I wanted to quickly talk about the transition from the rehearsal room to the stage. I began talking about it before but did not get too far into the subject.

No matter how you look at it - even if it looks easy - Art is hard.
Partly the simple act of putting yourself out there to be judged and criticized.
But also the creative act and process itself.
In theater, in particular, it is a struggle to tell the story in the best possible way that serves the author's vision and director's intent. And we spend weeks in a room working through scenes, sculpting each moment beat by beat, tracking the progression through to the very end.
We make good choices, and sometimes we make very bad choices. I am one who is just getting used to making the bad choice to make certain it WILL NOT WORK. And that too is beneficial, as afterward, I can mark that choice off the list completely.
And over the weeks of rehearsing and sculpting scenes, we get used to the surroundings, the intimacy of the small rehearsal room, the warm wooden floor and the rest of the 'white noise' in the visual background behind our scene partner that we, as storytellers, really begin to connect with the language and the person with which we are speaking.

And then .... Tech week strikes!

We move into the theater and we begin adding all of the technical elements to the show. Lights, sound, the set, and costumes. All of a sudden, the intimacy of the tiny wooden floored room is gone, and we a thrust into a larger space, surrounded by the all white set, bright lights and a sound scape we are not entirely used to. And even though we knew this was going to happen - and we knew the set was going to look the way it does, and things were going to sound like they do, we are all of a sudden out of our element.

Peter Reeves and I have told each other - "acting really shouldn't be that hard. All we have to do is walk and say some words" - but somehow, that simplest little thing is sometimes an impossible task.

And it is somewhere within the transition from the rehearsal room to the stage during tech week that we end up losing a lot of the work that we did in rehearsal to simply get used to playing in this new space - with all of the new elements added. And it becomes a process of getting back to that comfortable place again, where you are able to become used to the 'white noise' of a towering set, or costume pieces that you have not seen before. After that happens you can again begin focusing on the text and telling the story. Which is why we are there in the first place.

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