Week 9: Tightening the Wheel Nuts

Creative Commons License photo credit: mag3737
Goodness! Talk about feeling dazed and confused. This weekend was the first back after an Easter break, and 10 days away from the rehearsal room floor. To make matters worse, three of our company were absent; one on tour, and the others MIA. It was a difficult call given yesterday’s schedule which entailed working scene transitions and tightening up of crowd work. The understudies did their valiant best, but it isn’t the same at all.

A minor flurry during the afternoon as one of our dancers fell on to her back during a lift, and winded herself. Anxious moments, ice-packs etc., but like the trouper she is, back on her feet and into it after a while. Dancers are tough nuts! I do admire them.

All up, a scratchy, messy afternoon with a hint or two of anxiety from the creative team. Yes, we’re a couple of weeks out now and the pressure’s on.

OMG! The wheels fell off for me. Today was undoubtedly a step up from the last run which was literally 2 weeks ago, and also the horror run you have to have at some time. Better now than later, but I’m not going to tempt the theatre gods. It was actually only the second full run of the play, and the first for me entirely off book. Three of the company are ill and voices are not back yet so the energy fluctuated within and across scenes.

On a personal note, I kept being distracted during the run by everything. I couldn’t concentrate. There was the proximity to the director’s table (edge of stage), my own self-doubt, keeping up with scene transitions  … oh, everything! This distractedness meant that I dropped lines, a whole verse of one song at one stage … I wondered why the conductor was singing; bless her, she was trying to get me back on cue. So what else did I do? Changed keys, flubbed an entrance, and all the other stuff that happens when it ain’t happening for you. It was probably a good thing though, when all’s said and done. It pointed up the critical points in the show that need focus.

I was determined to finish the day on a positive note, so whined a bit and got an extra 20 mins in a private session with the beautiful musical director and the singing coach. That tidied things up and restored some confidence. It’s what we all need right now. On a very comforting note, it’s clear that the director is clicking into top gear now; among other things he’s dropping hints of some of the visual elements that will be backing some of the scenes including mine … kinda Brechtian … signalling what the scene is about. Nice ideas cooking here.

But how I do miss the way I’m used to working, i.e., daily rehearsals over a shorter period. I know why we are doing this, but it doesn’t make the process any easier. I can’t wait for the start of full runs on (an almost) daily basis from next weekend. That’s when the acceleration factor kicks in and the tempo-rhythm of the whole play will manifest itself for the ensemble. It’s still bits and pieces being threaded together.






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