When this was a rehearsal blog, I had a pretty good idea what idea might write… I thought I’d write about the rehearsal process. Now that we’re open…
So ….what?? Well, here’s some of what happens for us. Me. Learning to play the show eight times a week with the same passion and intensity that was almost unavoidable at the end of the rehearsal period. There’s a certain amount of adrenaline and terror that accompanies the previews and the opening, and the game is to quickly find a substitute. So we entertain each other during both of our half-hour calls. And some of these people are seriously funny. (read: Michael Mahler) I suppose for some actors there’s that immersion in deep concentration that offers a seamless transition from backstage to onstage. Mostly, for us, the hundred eighty-degree turn is easier.
What I mean is that having been through several weeks of homework on this project, now you just have to trust it. Ask yourself the question that kicks off your show each night, and keep up your half of the conversation with the people who populate the other side of your imagination. Then let the characters take over.
And then there’s that weird ‘’other-part-of-your-brain’’ thing that happens, because while you’re doing that imaginative game that we generally call “acting,” you’re also recalling notes, “Be aggressive on this section,” and “Really ask the question,” or “Add a little vibrato in the last two bars.” Don’cha love the human brain? It’s funny. When you’re learning lines it helps to have more input rather than less. That is, the more you have to associate with each bit of script, the easier it is to remember. And sometimes, the more distractions the merrier when it comes to being immersed in the moment. It’s wacky, but it’s easier to focus on the one critical thing when you’re juggling several other goofy things whose importance is …well, sketchy.
But we’re glad audiences are liking the show, glad to have met Lin Manuel Miranda, glad to be hanging with each other, and telling these stories.
I’m kinda surprised at how little has been said about how different the world is since this show was first produced in 1978. And how potent this material is in light of…well, everything; Bernie Madoff, AIG, Goldman, “Gee…should we give ourselves bi-i-i-ig bonuses for giving mortgages to people who clearly can’t afford them?? Let’s kill unions; that’s the problem, those damned teachers and firemen. We’re bailing out WHO!? “For weeks, I took Gabe’s speech wrong. In my defense, I don’t have any ques nearby.. But it makes me think that the “twenty…thirty” people he refers to are twenty or thirty troublemakers who’ve taken it upon themselves to make things more difficult for the rest of us. Imagine the world without twenty …heck, even ten of history’s biggest troublemakers. Wow.
No matter who you include on your list, I bet none of them held real jobs. They didn’t produce anything. They weren’t union members. They didn’t work.