OH boy, what a week!HI, my name is Sara Zientek and I will be playing Jackie in MAURITIUS. I am in my last semester at UW-Milwaukee and will be juggling 16 credits while rehearsing 6 days a week for this brilliant show. I thought I would give myself an easy semester with a lot of dance classes, yoga, and one discussion course. Sadly, I was mistaken and realized that I am completely exhausted by the time I get into my car and head on over to rehearsal. LUCKILY, there is PLENTY of coffee to go around and the energy that Andrew and the rest of the actors bring quickly lifts my spirits and I am ready to act the night away!
One thing that I would love to share is the thrill of working on a show that involves fight work. We are lucky to have a brilliant fight choreographer (someone who blocks out the fights and shows the actors how to execute them safely and efficiently), James Fletcher. Fletcher and Andrew have talked over what they both think would be effective during each fight scene and then get to test out their ideas on us and see if it looks believable. This is my first time having to fight in a show so its very exciting and terrifying at the same time! First Fletcher talks about what he wants from us, He makes whoever is doing the fighting walk through it in slow motion to make sure our hand and feet positions are correct. Then, we start to pick up the speed and eventually start doing the fights at show speed. Nothing is set in stone, so if any actor feels uncomfortable and needs to change something that is ALWAYS an option. We want the fights to look as real as possible, but they also need to be completely safe. So we do each fight scene several times with Fletcher there watching from different angles so he can make sure nothing looks wrong and to make sure there isn't a big gap between a persons fist and someones face if they were throwing a punch..that wouldn't look real :)
Once everything looks good and everyone feels comfortable we try and run the whole scene and add the fight into it. Andrew and Fletcher both seemed very pleased yesterday with all the fights and I can't wait to get back to rehearsal tomorrow and work on them a little more.
p.s. we have finished staging the whole show and now are starting to get into detail work about our characters.