We had a designer run-through last night and the work was very, very rough. There were a lot of questions from people, usually starting with the words “In the script it says…” and then adding a detail that hasn’t been spoken of, or addressed as of yet. It’s funny how many things can be accidentally overlooked when focus is on one aspect of a play.
When we get into the last few weeks before Opening Night, things begin to get stressful sometimes. Everyone begins to intensely focus on the task at hand. People begin to “wear” their characters in the hallways and in the wings while waiting to go on stage. The usual lively jokiness that abounds in the hallways may cause the actors to break concentration.
One of the many things that I try to do is be respectful of my fellow actors and before performances, I try not to fool around if I see them focused on their entrance. One of the worst things that an actor can do is either miss and entrance or come onstage late. I would hate to be the cause of something like that, so I do my best to stay out of the way.
Since we open in two weeks, things are going to be tough and a wee bit on the stressy (yup, it’s a made up word) side. One of the best things that we as actors can do for each other is to know our lines, our scenes and entrances, and to keep the silliness to a minimum. But I have to emphasize that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop laughing.
And with these people, I don’t think that will be a problem.
The rehearsals for the show are going swimmingly! Most of Act 1 is staged and we are just building momentum. I can’t wait for the day when I can direct my own shows. Watching people like Katie O’Bryon and Elisa Alvarado adjust a scene with actors is so fascinating to me. Helping to create little moments within the scenes is a difficult job, but they make it seem so effortless and they include the actors when working the kinks out.
Tonight’s rehearsal was just me and the two that play my parents, Jay Vera and Melinna Bobadilla. While there were a lot of laughs, we quickly worked through one of the last scenes in Act 1, and talked through some of the counterintuitive moments that we were coming up against. One of the first things that we needed to address was that the size of the stage didn’t feel proportionate to the home setting. In normal circumstances, the solution would be to just move things around. Easy Peasy! Unfortunately, thanks to working on a raked stage, moving a set piece designed to stand on a slanted plain won’t stand the same way on a flat surface.
This is what the empty stage would look like. The Mexican Heritage Theatre is, from my understanding, HUGE! I get giddy just thinking about it. It is said to have incredible wing space and decent fly space. That’s a luxury that not many theatres have. But back to the work. After making some repositioning decisions, we charged into the scene. Our actor playing Young Tony, Lalo Lopez, was unavailable this evening, but it was a great challenge to try and feel out something for him for the scene. I don’t mean that in a mean or snarky way. I truly did enjoy the challenge of using sense memory to try and put some emotional weight in the lines while not having a partner to work off of during some of the scene sections. That in turn, gives something for the other actors to work with as well.
We worked all over the scene, and I was startled with the alarm went off saying that rehearsal time is over. I really wanted to at least run the ending of the scene and the exit at least one more time for the traffic pattern and for piece of mind knowing that I have it stuck in my noggin. Alas, with rehearsal over, we were dismissed. So after saying goodbyes and whatnot, I bounded out into the chilly night air with a lightness in my feet.
Tomorrow night is a stage combat or stage fighting workshop. Woo to the hoo! I am wicked excited for it. I love fight workshops! Love them. Of course, I’ve only taken the one with the karate teacher guy for West Side Story. That was awesome!!! Of course it didn’t hurt that I had the amazing Tony Dicorti as my fight partner. I am wondering how this is going to turn out. Only because the way I interpreted the script, there wasn’t a scene in it that called for much fighting. Maybe some shoving, but I don’t recall any fighting.