Tuesday, April 1, 2008


You know that last class in high school the one that let you out of school at 2:07? And how 1:59 was the longest minute ever? Well, until 2:00. And the the clock managed to slow ever more than you could have imaged at 2:01 and by 2"06 you were sure that time had stopped? That's my eternity right now. My first rehearsal is on Thursday, April 10th. And every day seems longer than the last. I've read the book over and over again. I've read and thought as much as I can about my own part. But I can't prepare any further without driving myself into a characterization that I don't want to create before I meet the other characters in the setting. So I have to keeping waiting this eon that 10 days has become.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who is Sammii?

We were finally able to have our table read for Proposals on Saturday. I’m even more excited about the show than I was before. The cast is great. Table reads are one of my favorite tools. It’s the first time I give a voice to the character. And even though I don’t have any idea yet who she is really and what it is she wants when I go just hearing the voices of the other characters gives me a pretty good idea of who she is and how she fits in by listening and knowing who she is not. It looks like its going to be a lot of fun.

My schedule in the beginning is unbelievably light. I can’t remember the last time I had such a small part. I am so excited it about it because with the light schedule I’ll have more time to do outside rehearsal thinking and development work. Usually I only have time to discover things in rehearsal because out of the studio all my time is spent learning the lines and doing some really cerebral work.

I already have some thoughts about Sammii. As someone who was trained as a dancer I always start with the physical attributes of the character. What she looks like. But, you ask, doesn’t she look like you? And the answer is no. In my head the character always looks like someone else entirely. I’ve told that to other actors and to directors and they always seem confused by that tactic. But I’m very used to looking at myself from the outside as though I do not inhabit my body except as a tool so why shouldn’t I feel that I am inhabiting a very different mantle? So back to Sammii. She is rounder than me. More cutesy. Like a Renee Zellweger. Wholesome. She is definitely blond. Very blond. She wears pastel make-up. Pink lipstick, pink round cheeks, pink sports length nails. She has blue eyes. She wears soft clothing. Chiffons and silks in pastels. Never black. Her favorite color is a very soft blue. She wears very high strappy heels. And small earrings. Her clothes would be conservative but everything is a shorter and a lower cut than a modest woman would wear.

So from that what do I think I know? She grew up in Alleman, Iowa population 239. She was a cheerleader and homecoming queen. She came to New York with the money she won for being the Corn Kernel Queen. She isn’t shy because she can’t imagine that anyone doesn’t like her. She has an image of herself in her head of always being in soft focus like her favorite movie stars. And she floats when she walks always slightly on the balls of her feet like she is going to start skipping at any moment. She flings herself into sexual relationships but isn’t serious about any of the men. They are pretty accessories. Like a nice purse and it makes her feel sophisticated to have the kind of relationships with men she could never have back home. She lives in a world where she stars in the film that is her life and the things she says are pithy dialog. She poses for the cameras she sees everywhere but is completely unselfconscious when not posing. She swings between child like and too too terribly chic.

Of course many of these images will change and evolve over time. And of course some are contradictory so as I work I’ll have to keep some and throw some away. But basically I’m starting with a sweet farm girl who is trying very hard to be Marilyn Monroe and falling short. I’m interested to see where that goes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Highest of Highs. Lowest of Lows.

Saturday was by far the best performance of the show we did. We had a slightly overfull house because of the cancellation on Friday night and they were up, responsive and participatory. Everyone was wonderful and when I got up to do my testimony at the end of Act II it felt smooth, commanding, at ease. Act III had me engaged, choked up. I loved the play, every second of it. I loved the cast. I loved doing it. Not Guilty.

Sunday crashed and burned for me. It was the closing so I wanted to go out on a high note. It was going nicely, good pace. Not as spectacular as the night before but definitely a good solid show. Then in the middle of my Act II testimony M went blank. And not just blank but stunningly blank. Deer in the headlights blank. At first he just looked at me and then, then I saw panic set in. He ran to the defense table where there is a huge pile of copied pages of the script and began to frantically search for his place. I knew he was never going to find it. And there is nothing I can do. I can’t just start speaking. That won’t make any sense. Although, maybe I should to rescue the show. How can I reword this line to put us on track? He asks a question. Not the correct one but I can work with we go on…for three lines. But clearly he has lost the scene completely. He asks a question and it is so different that I am completely thrown I don’t have any idea what to do or where I am. At sea. So I just jump to the end of the scene in a desperate attempt to bring the character of Larry on so we can just move forward. When he comes on I am so riled so shaky that the break down has a more tension and charge than it ever has had before. So I got something out of it. A feeling of panic, fear, tension that I can remember and hopefully recreate when I need it. But I never fully recovered for Act III. Although it was alright, I should be affected, scared, sad, stressed so I used it to my full advantage. I let my fear and disappointment show. I let tears come close enough to fight them. And then it was over. I was guilty last night. But I found out later that our bailiff just decided I was. The vote was 8-4 in my favor, one of the lowest. It was usually 11-1, sometimes 10-2. I don’t blame him at all. We needed more than one loss.

Last night I felt hollow. I hate the end of a run. The sudden deflation. I thought this one would be easier having a script in hand but its not. I cried all through the Oscars. I cried this morning in the shower. I could cry any minute at work today. I always forget how hard it is for me to decompress. And this was by far one of the best experiences of my career so far. I loved every minute of this show. The cast was massive and they were wonderful despite any complaints I may have had along the way. A true ensemble piece.

Things I’ll miss:

Glaring at the jury.

K’s gum.

"Yeah that's the one! I see you got a hold of that too." Heck B's whole performance.


“Then how can you speak of him such as you did? Don’t you know why he married you?”

Magda Svenson.

B as Junquist. One of the best actors I’ve ever worked with.

Testifying in Act III.

Sparring with the DA.

Not Guilty.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Day

Tonight's show is canceled due to a parking ban. That blows because I only get so many shows and to miss even one is sad. And my Saturday morningtable read was rescheduled a week for the same reason.

Last night was much better than Wednesday. Much better. Although, there was an older gentleman and his hot skinny blond thing in the jury box and they were quite rude. Chatting and holding hands and by the end cuddling and making out. And then an older lady fell asleep. I don't blame her though. The audience dresses for winter and then they end up on stage in the jury box under the searingly hot lights. I can totally see how someone not accustomed to that would just fall asleep. It still isn't cool for the rest of the audience to see that. Well, two shows to go.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pick-up Rehearsal

So last nights benefit performance sucked ass. It was a small non-responsive audience and a disjointed slow show. It was as though none of us cared. Everything that came out of my mouth last night sounded false. I was like a bad pick-up rehearsal with an audience. Wow. I can't even tell you how much that blew.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Past, the Present, and the Future.

I am usually too tired to post after shows and then like a dream the performances all meld into one giant evening that becomes more and more vague as time goes on. But here I am trying to recall what happened. Thursday seems uneventful because I remember nothing about it. Friday I was guilty. I think there was jury tampering. H has never made it a secret that he wants my character to fry and the jury was just filled with actresses of his. Actresses that also seemed not to care for me. I don’t get that. But so it goes. Saturday was a good show. Very up.

And Sunday…well, Sunday I was on autopilot. I remember saying the words “A twenty-five million dollar loan was necessary…” and realizing oh my god I’m talking! How in the world did I get here? And that line is pretty far into my testimony. I had done at least two full pages before that point. Apparently, in the words of Christopher Walken, I act like a dancer. I can sometimes let go and act on muscle memory alone. Admittedly it will not be the freshest most engaging performance of my life but it’s more than just passable. Sundays are hard for me. I am always tired on the Sunday. If I didn’t have a fulltime job I would have no problems but I do and doing four or five shows a week if exhausting so by the Sunday I start to check out mentally. I was glad to hear that my inner exhaustion doesn’t show at all. Other actors were surprised to hear how disengaged I felt. How surreal the whole performance seemed to me.

Another long week starts for me tonight. A long week but the final week. A benefit performance tonight followed by our regular Thursday through Sunday schedule and a table read for Proposals on Saturday morning. I am so looking forward to Proposals. It’s really nice to have a script in hand and a next show date immediately following a close. It’s a small part but its sweet and potentially a show stealer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Minor Heart Attacks

This blog would be so dull if I only said the shows went smoothly, everyone loved it, and not a line was dropped. Why would the four of you who regularly drop by want to keep showing up for that? So today I will recount the things that went wrong during the three shows this weekend.

Let’s start with Friday. Besides my usual complaints about L and his complete inability to hold onto his part throughout an entire performance we had an honest to goodness forgot a prop panic. R, who plays Larry Regan, came on for his entrance at the very top of Act III, sat down, and immediately realized that he had forgotten a very pivotal piece of “evidence”. A check for $5000 from John Graham Whitfield, philanthropist and, if you believe Larry’s character, murdering bastard. The reason I highlight that the check is from John Graham Whitfield will become apparent later in the recounting of this tale.

I am on the stand at this point and most of this story is pure hearsay. But as R tells it, he sits down and suddenly panics about the check having forgot to put it in his breast pocket before entering. His first discussion with himself is that he will simply pull out an ATM slip from his wallet and hand that over. He is content with the decision for almost a full minute until it dawns on him that he is in costume and therefore does not have his wallet in his back pocket. Oh no. There are various pads all over the table that my attorney uses to take notes and scribble things throughout the show. But they are on the other side of the table and R is convinced in his panic that everyone is looking at him and that any sudden moves will only draw more attention.

Now, here I would like to say that I am testifying and as the one on the stand who is actually staring at the audience that they are really looking at me. I know that sounds self centered, like of course they are all watching me! But in truth this is the reveal of my side of the story and it includes details of testimony from everyone that has come before me.

He finally decides to just go for it. And to try and rip a slip of paper out of the pad. But he’s afraid to just tear it because it will make a noise and everyone will just look at him and then what! So after flipping through page after page looking for a blank sheet, which is almost impossible due to the huge amount of “notes” that M makes through out the show, he folds a piece and tries to tear it very slowly. Then becomes afraid that is even more noticeable. So when my attorney sits down after my testimony and I go into cross examination he whispers to him, “I forgot the check.” M, who I said before is constantly playing with the pads and has no compunction in touching one or doing anything at all while I speak rips him off a piece of paper which he pockets, breathing a sigh of relief.

I, of course, know about none of this having had my attention occupied doing my role and what not. Larry testifies immediately after me. I am despondent an non-responsive through it until he gets to the part of the check which draws me in leading up the crucial reveal of the check writer. I first know something is slightly amiss when he pulls the piece of yellow legal pad paper from his jacket and hands it to my attorney. My attorney is obviously not thrown being the supplier of said piece of paper. He hands it to the clerk to submit into evidence. And then the question comes up, “Who wrote that check?” Larry’s answer is your clerk can read that check to you. The clerk (who is also our bailiff) opens the blank piece of paper and says…something. I’m still not sure what. It definitely started with James Monroe and then it went on from there a bit. And I react inappropriately. Or appropriately depending on your point of view. My reaction is usually one of anger toward John Graham Whitfield but under the circumstances I simply reacted with confusion. The rest of the cast went on as though he had said John Graham Whitfield so I’m sure that it was glossed over to the audience but I always try to react as in the moment as possible and hearing an unfamiliar name got the most honest reaction of who? out of me. And all I could think afterwards was for the love of the Ceiling Cat how long have we been rehearsing this show that you don’t know the characters name unless it is written on a piece of paper! So, that was Friday.

I can’t think of anything on Saturday outside of the L stuff. And the giant gaps while he searches his papers for the lines. God, I hope I never work with him again. Sunday was much more about the jury than us. First, J, our bailiff, gets his list of twelve names and says what do I do if people decline? I only have 12 names here. So we talk about and decide that he should just point to people in the audience and tell them they are alternates. Good thing too because we had three declines and has been previously stated and cannot be overstated J is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

The other funny thing with the jury is that M’s mother was on the jury. At the end of his closing argument he has this sappy ridiculous spiel about reaching deep into your hearts, and understanding Karen Andre, and searching souls…blah blah blah, seriously if I was on the jury that alone would turn me against my character. So he leans onto the rail and says that whole bit to his mother. Right in her face! And I couldn’t help it I just broke up. I turned my head and covered my face but I was never able to fully recover my concentration after that. I swear I am always more professional than that. But I just lost it so completely that reining it in was impossible.

So that was this weekend. Wednesday we have a speed line read and then begin again of Thursday!

Friday, February 8, 2008

They Liked It!

Last night was wonderful. I got to the theater early with C, my husband, hairdresser, and PA. I had plenty of time to relax and get oriented. C did my hair and I must say it was beautiful. The best he’s ever done. I had time to get dressed in stages the way I like to. Make-up first. Then walk the stage and stretch a little. Then tattoo covering and on with the dressing gown and nylons. Hang in the green room a little, chat, see where everyone is emotionally. Then costume at the 10 minute call and stand quietly in the backstage hall alone until the places call.

We had a full house and as it was opening night there was wine and cheese for the audience so they were all happy and relaxed going into the show. I didn’t expect the reaction from the audience when the juror roll was being called. There was much laughter and applause and everyone seemed happy to be on the jury except for the one guy that announced that he had been excused from jury duty for one year. This totally threw the man playing the bailiff and we ended up with thirteen jury members. I think its better that way. No way to end up with a hung jury.

The jury as usual took their jobs very seriously. Through the first act. They seemed to loosen up a bit by the second act and by the third they were fully relaxed. Mr. B, a prominent lawyer in Hartford, was on the jury and he smiled and seemed to have an exceedingly wonderful time all throughout the show. In fact it was difficult to look at him during my testimony which is so not a smiling matter.

Magda Svenson, the Swedish housekeeper, got the best reaction of the night when she left the stand. Not just applause but hooting. Go K! Personally, she is my favorite segment too. Surprisingly, when I asked my husband who he liked best he said Sigurd Jungquist, which I thought was just awesome but I thought he would prefer one of the more comedic characters. The man who plays Jungquist I think is the strongest actor in the cast followed closely by M, who plays my lawyer.

I of course have to have a complaint. No show is perfect and I like to know where the holes are in order to make them better each night. I think my breakdown at the end of Act II was a little weak. I got caught up in a mix up that happened during Larry Regan’s entrance and I forgot myself just long enough that it was difficult to build the momentum you need for a full blown breakdown. I don’t think it was awful but I did think it was a little less charged than it has been in rehearsal.

The jury had a funny reaction to the instructions from the judge. They started laughing and clapping and getting all excited. It was not at all what I was expecting. I was found not guilty in the end. C thinks that it would be impossible to ever find me guilty. We shall see. I also think it’s impossible though. I mean everyone is obviously lying. When the foreman gave the verdict at the end he decided to pause dramatically. But it was really dramatically. Like forever and ever. And ever. Long enough that I could feel nervous laughter building up in the back of my throat.

I got a very nice compliment from my husband who is not always the most complimentary sort. Usually it’s something along the lines of something like, “yeah, it was good” or “you liked nice.” And that’s after I had to drag it out of him. He said that I was so beautiful and assured. I was a hottie. I must be extremely sexy in this play because that is downright gushy for him. And it came without any prompting at all.

Well, one down twelve to go. Hope tonight goes just as well!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We the Jury find the Defendant...

...guilty. But the jury was definitely stacked against me. It was a six to five vote and five of the jury members were friends of L the DA’s. I was overly relaxed last night and watching and enjoying the show as an outsider rather than as an active participant for much of the first act. My insomnia last night put me in a really weird and super spacy place. It was actually pretty fun last night.

Tonight is opening. I’m excited about finally having a full house and seeing if they react to the show and how. The jury takes the whole thing SO very seriously. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Fear is Upon Me

Last night I went to see a tech rehearsal of the play my friend is directing. It is very funny. A sexual farce. I had a good time. But it also sent me into a spiral of self doubt. I know it was a tech but parts of it were messy and didn’t seem to get off the ground at all and it made me worry about the show I’m currently in. When you are deep inside the production sometimes you totally miss it’s most obvious flaws. And you start to wonder, am I believable? Am I trying too hard? Do I suck horribly and I just don’t notice?

We have had audiences of a sort with our rehearsal juries. But the people attending them are friendlies being acquaintances, friends, and family of people associated with the theater company. Not subscribers and other paying audience members.

I had the most horrible insomnia last night over the prospect of crashing and burning horrifically. Rethinking every choice I’ve made for every line I say. Wondering if I should read more Meisner or that will just make my deflated ego even more flat. I’m so tired at work today I can barely concentrate. And I have a full dress again tonight and then open tomorrow. I hope tonight’s run-through can help me regain my confidence.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And the Verdict is....

Not Guilty!

I really thought we lost that one last night. But only two votes against me, a ten year old boy and his mother. I wonder what that means.

L's flub of the evening. A series. Pt. I.

Actual line:
He found the fall from the world's tallest building quicker and easier....

What he said:
He found the fall from the world's shortest building quicker and easier....

Off tonight. I'm going to go see a tech rehearsal of my friend's show that opens at the same time mine does and closes before my run is over. I'm very disappointed that I won't get to see it with an audience.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Full Dress

On Sunday we had our first full dress with an actually real live jury. It was a little disconcerting but not as difficult as I had originally thought it would be. They are funny! So serious. The sparse audience of...well, I don't actually know who those people were...but they laughed at the jokes and enjoyed the show but the jury was SO serious. They took their role seriously and concentrated and paid attention. There was one woman on the jury who I barely wanted to look at. She was all scowly and scary. And then after the show she was laughing and pleasant.

The rehearsal was pretty good. It was definitely nice to have an audience even if it was only eighteen people counting the jury. But L again went off the rails. Right at the top of Act III he forgot a line and it was impossible for anyone at all to put him back on track due to the set-up and the characters positions. And this line that he forgot brings another character on and I go up on the stand immediately after his entrance so there was nothing for it but for me to go on the stand and hope for the best for the sections that the character has a line. Well part way through a line very early in my testimony all of a suddenly L realizes Oh Yeah! So he cuts me off and brings the character on and I breathe a sigh of relief but I’m a little thrown and I’m pretty sure that it shows up in my testimony with my defense attorney that I’m not as in control and sure of myself and I should be as a character. So it makes me look a little weak. Maybe it helps me with the jury. Maybe it doesn’t who knows. Then it’s L’s turn to do the cross examination. For some reason my attorney, M, keeps forgetting to object or when he does it’s very weak. And then L forgets a line and asks me what keeps Faulkner visiting me after his marriage “love or hate?” Love or hate? What the frak? I don’t have a clue how to answer that question and I have no idea how I did answer that question. But I’m pretty sure my answer screwed me. Of course as soon as I got off the stand I realized how I should have answered it. I should have said “unless you mean his hatred for Nancy Lee and John Graham Whitfield, I have no idea what you are talking about.” But I apparently am not that quick on my feet the first time in front of an audience. Love or fear, L, love or fear. Love or hated doesn’t even make sense.

In the end, however, they found me not guilty. I think it’s going to be very difficult to find me guilty at all. For one thing even though we never discuss the concept of reasonable doubt I think people watch enough television drama to know what it is, what it means, and how it’s employed in the American justice system that there is no way that there is an ironclad case against me and there is quite a bit of doubt. And I don’t think that people dislike me personally enough. I think no matter how arrogant and unrepentant I am my obvious distress over certain events in the case make me just likeable enough that they don’t want to send me down river. And that the prosecution isn’t just the face of the state but also the spoiled heiress and the entitled “philanthropist” who also looks pretty dirty in the murder. But the director H tells me it wasn’t unanimous so we’ll see what we can do.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Painted Like a Clown

I don't wear make up in my day to day life. If I'm feeling adventurous one day I may put on some lip gloss but that's about it. Last night, though, I decided it would be easier for me to put on my stage make up at home instead of competing for space in the dressing room as I was already running quite late and wouldn't be able to stake out early territory. Then I get in the car and realize I have to get gas. I felt like a fool going into pay. I probably didn't look as ridiculous as I felt. I even tend to keep the stage make up as natural looking as possible although I did do "dramatic" eyes for this character. Thank the FSM that I didn't put on the fake lashes or I would have just braved it hoped I could get there on fumed. But when I get to the theater? They canceled dress. One of the actresses was quite ill and they didn't want to do photos without her. Her being a lead and all. Man I was pissed.

Besides that I was totally out of it last night. I was alright for acts I & II, although apparently my volume has gotten quite low. But Act III? I was just lost. I couldn't remember other characters names. Lines that had never been a problem for me were just wafting away. I was drifting off into spaciness during key moments of the play. God, it was just bizarre. I can't remember the last time I was so disengaged on stage. I think I need a day off. Thank goodness I get one tomorrow. Six days to opening though. I've got to get it together.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Way She Moves

Very nice compliments last night from H, our esteemed director. I’ve never been able to take a compliment very well and he was almost gushy with me last night. I was all blush and giggle. He likes the way I move and said that even though I basically sit throughout the entire play that I make even that interesting. It’s my neck. And the way I hold my head. All I can say is Thank You H.

Last night we did a partial costume run. And I must say I was quite happy with my new dress. I think it’s sexy, yet appropriate. The last one I think looked like I was going to cocktail party, not standing trial for murder. Tonight is full costume and picture night. I always hate this rehearsal at PRP because the photographer, who is fabulous I have to say, gets right on the stage and right up in your face while you are rehearsing. It is incredibly difficult to ignore a man who is inches from you with a camera.

Oh, that reminds me, pics from my last production New Voices ’07 are up on the website here. I’m the one in the flowered dress and the superman T-shirt.

Rehearsals have been tough. From my last two outbursts you can probably tell that we are having some trouble with cast members learning their lines. Now it’s just one. And it’s killing us. It slows the pace and breaks all the tension that being built up. One week until we open. One.

But besides the complaints, I must say there are some awfully nice bright spots in the cast. KF, who plays Mrs. John Joseph Hutchins, is very fun and watchable. B, playing the clueless cop, is so very funny. KP as the disapproving sveedish housekeeper is so shocked, SHOCKED, by the sinning. And the dance hall girl, played by E, is spot on. The man who plays my lawyer is just so persuasive. I’m going to win every night! I’m aware that H hopes that’s not true but until L the DA learns his lines I don’t think he’s going to be able to convince the jury that I committed the crimes I admit to on the stand much less the murder I’m on trial for.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Minnie Mouse on the Stand

As if I haven't suffered enough with the whole surgery at the beginning of rehearsals thing. Now, now I have the flu. Because of the set up of the play I was able to run my stuff three times last night and still make it home before 8 so it wasn't too bad. My cast mates mocked me quite a bit though. I play this really controlled and controlling woman and I do it with a very cold low tone of voice. But my flu made that impossible. Instead they said I sounded like Minnie Mouse. So just picture Minnie saying, "You don't find men like Bjorn Faulkner cringing before a bankruptcy commission and you don't find them locked in jail." and you get kind of an idea of how my rehearsal went last night. I don't think I'll be able to make it at all tonight. My face is so filled with stuff and I feel like I am being pushed into the ground. By 7 all I'll want is a Nyquil cocktail and unconsciousness.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What was that?

Wow. Okay. What the hell just happened? I cannot remember being so ridiculously busy in ages.

This first day of filming was kind of a slog. I arrived at 10:15 am ready to go but we didn’t actually start filming until 12:10. Out of 36 shots we did 6 ending at 2:30. The whole process if pretty exhausting. It’s repetitive and tedious. We are also filming in a cold space with a concrete floor, so standing continuously begins to get to my back. I also began to get pretty darned tired so I had a lot of trouble with scene 7 and it ended up not getting shot.

The auditorium scenes with the extras were a lot easier. It went faster. I had far fewer shots and was in and out in about an hour. Tonight we should be finishing the scenes in the cold concrete location. I’ll probably be there all night. Yippee.

I also had three rehearsals for J16. We did Act III on Friday. It went alright. I mostly knew my lines. Although not as strongly I would have liked. But we went through it twice and it was okay. Sunday we did I single full run. We were missing some actors but that was okay. Monday we had a full run and that was hellish. Everyone was there and we staged the end of Act III and curtain call. When you try to jam everyone on stage I’m completely amazed by how many we really are. I’m still having a little trouble with a couple of the Act III lines. But I must say I am incredibly irritated with some of the actors who only have ten or so lines and are still calling line. I have pages and pages and some of them are paragraphs and they have ½ a page and can’t remember? What the hell? It was way too much for me to be able to recount what happened in great detail. It seems to just blur into one big clusterfuck of a rehearsal.

I decided I’m going to take the part of Sammii (yes, it has two is) in Proposals at PRP. The director told me that P, who I worked with in Reckless, is going to play the character opposite me so I couldn’t say no. I’m actually really looking forward to it now that I read it. So I’ll have the month of March off and then back onto the stage. The part is much smaller than my current one so I’ll have more time off than I currently do.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Off Book, Nerves, and the Future.

Last night was my first off book rehearsal for J16. Overall, a pretty good rehearsal. I really like the actor who is playing my attorney. And with such a large cast there are a number off actors whom I’ve never spoken a word to yet so it’s cool that I have someone I’m so comfortable with in the cast. It was overall a pretty uneventful rehearsal. With the set up of the show only the two lawyers really have any blocking. At that’s even pretty minimal so it does make for much easier rehearsals.

There was one moment that was pretty funny last night and I caused it. At the very end of the act I have a confrontation with the widow of the man I’m accused of murdering. It’s a very angry exchange and I have to get pretty worked up to go after her during her testimony. So I sit there and get my self so worked up that I hear ringing in my ears and I can see a little halo of yellow light on the outside of my vision. I’m pissed. So I stand and begin delivery my lines and the exchange is on and then I yell, “Mrs. Faulkner!” “What is it?” She responds. And suddenly the words were just gone. There was nothing but this extreme spitting anger, but no words, and nothing rational left in me to call for lines so all that comes out of my mouth is “I don’t know!” And the room totally broke up. I almost burst into tears. Not out of embarrassment but because I had all of this anger and resentment and there was just no way to funnel it. But after a deep breath I just started laughing so hard. We ran I just that section again and I was fine but I couldn’t get that ear ringingly irate again without the build up so I’m afraid the scene wasn’t as good. But I did get all my lines out. Next run of that scene Sunday. I only have six bloody lines in that exchange so I hopefully will not screw it up again.

So tonight I have Act II off book. I have a huge emotional break at the end of the act that comes without the emotional prep that I’ve had in the past for that sort of thing so we’ll see how that goes. And tomorrow I have my first shooting day for CC. I’m very excited and nervous about that. I also have to be off book for Act III tomorrow and I am definitely not feeling quite as secure about it as the other two acts. But I should have two hours between the shoot and the rehearsal so I should be able to get it down. It’s only about eight pages. And I’m pretty comfortable with this last four.

Last night I was invited to read the script for newer Neil Simon play called Proposals. I don’t know the show but I really like PRP so I’d be excited to do yet another show there. My only hang up is that both LTM and Suffield Players are doing Blithe Spirit in the spring and I’ve always wanted to play the dead wife part. But do I take a part I know I can have with a theater company that I really enjoy working with or do I take my chances and audition for a part in a play I really like but may not get cast in and then have nothing lined up for the spring? It’s a really really hard choice for me. But reading the show won’t hurt and maybe I’ll just love the part. And maybe I can not commit until after I audition for Blithe Spirit and can keep it as a back up. I hate to do that though. Particularly because I am so new to PRP and don’t want to box myself out before I’m really in. It is nice to go from no choices and never getting cast to too many choices I must say. My husband always wants to know why I do show on top of show on top of show and the answer is that you just never know when it will dry up. When someone will be the newer better flavor. Plus I’m getting near the end of ingĂ©nue stage and will have to move into more mature women roles which are harder to find. It sucks to be getting “old” in my mid 30s.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lotsa Stuff Going On

On January 4th I had surgery. I started to know I needed surgery around Christmas but kept thinking maybe I could put it off a few months. On the Friday before New Year’s I knew that was a ridiculous assumption and by the Wednesday after New Year’s I was begging my doctor to do it that day. Not just the pain but because I have so much going on that it was way better to do it earlier than try to wait and screwing up my rehearsal schedule farther into the process. So I missed the first three rehearsals for January 16th and had to put off a meeting for The Callahan Project. But I am back on track now thank goodness.

Rehearsals have been going well for J16. We are rehearsing in the space which is both helpful and frustrating. I like the actual feel of being in the real space and I even enjoy having the set going up around me. But it’s also dirty, the stage for the last show had a beach on it that included a ridiculous amount of sand that’s in buckets everywhere and seems to be in every crevice of everything in the theater, and there are trip hazards just off the floor of the stage everywhere. I swear I’m going to be killed by the ½ inch lip they built to contain the sand from the last set. But as set build continues I’m sure that it will get neater and neater and that lip will get removed.

H is a different kind of director than I’ve worked with before. We will be running along and then all of a sudden he’ll stop and work a bit, a scene, 4 lines, a cross, for 15 minutes. And then we run along again. And you can never tell what it’s going to be. You’ll run through some pretty darned rough patches and he says nothing and then when things seem to be going along swimmingly suddenly we stop and work and work and work. It’s only been me that was being worked once so far. And believe me, I needed the work. So it is a really useful exercise. I just haven’t been able to make rhyme or reason of it yet. But overall things seem pretty good. I’m off book for Act I and II now. And I’ve been listening to my Act III lines on loop on and off since 10:30 this morning so hopefully I’ll be off book tonight. If there is rehearsal, it snowed last night and everyone seems concerned about a parking ban and with no parking comes no rehearsal. And that would suck as I have not yet been to an Act III rehearsal.

I don’t have a lot to say about the film project. I met the director once. Seems nice. I have a table read tomorrow. That’s good. I’ve never done film so I’m a little nervous about all that but I’m sure I’ll be just fine for this project and maybe I’ll learn enough to do some more. I just hope that the filmmaker, K, is a good director. I have an inherent need for a director in this early stage in my acting career so I hope his youth and the difference in our ages won’t get in the way of him being able to mold me. Not that I won’t listen because he’s young. Not what I mean at all. But that he will either be afraid to tell me or that he won’t have enough experience to know how to tell me. But table read tomorrow and time to size myself up against the other actor. So that should be really interesting anyway.