Tag Archives: blocking

Thousandth Firsts

4 Aug

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First formal night of rehearsal for 39 Steps tonight. In keeping with the ongoing number of “firsts,” it was exciting, and nerve-wracking and industrious.

…There is something about first breaking the cherry of blocking…how the director works it, the actors take it, the SM supports it, and by the end…how the projection of an entire process of an entire show, somehow hangs on it.

…For better or for worse.

For the record: This show is gonna be ” for the better.” You should prob’ly buy tickets ahead.

It was said.

…And now: goodnight.

~D

Balls & Pillars, Proposals & Sex

6 May

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Tongue and cheek, (and totally appropriate), our set pieces for “Earnest” will be made up primarily of ball-shaped topiary and pillars.

…Throw in a tea cart, a chaise lounge, and wicker-seated throne; a small table sprinkled here and there, Moroccan-themed bit of drapery, and a set of French doors: you have the set in it’s basic entirety.  In the round, sparsely populated with purpose, the design is made to allow plenty of space, as well as just enough obstacles to aide in the cat-and-mouse games.

We blocked the first part of Gwen’s proposal and Jack’s interrogation tonight.

A little Q & A, a little “dish,” a little read-thru, a little exercise: a delicious game-play of physical enticements without use of script or words…only noises, touch, breath…on command from Mdm. Director…in a constant change-up of who is chasing whom, and repelling at an instant, stealing a touch here, retreating there, moving back and forth across the entire space, at various speeds, weaving through the furniture and back again, using every silent seduction element at our disposal, so that even apart, the electric current continues, stretching…pulling, at torturous levels, to snap us back again, time after time, in the closest, closest of “almostness.”

How titillating and aroused can you get up to the point of breaking?  Tickle the delicate little well-trained animal of character to stand upon the absolute brink of losing all control.

…Then: don’t let it.

…Just play with it.

…Like a tease.

…And giggle. 

A lot.

In between.

Add back in the text…

…Then forget where we are with the lines.

…Or what happens next.

So goes the courting of Gwen and Jack.

The exercise was invaluable.  The resulting blocking: a heated tango.

It was delicious.

…Will take some time to get the exact beats of one another’s moves. Of course still being on book does nothing to help.  But the knowledge that our rhythm will only strengthen, our snap-tos, and side-glances, finger-skims, nose-touches, lip-bitings, breath-catchings, nape-necking, scent-breathing, hair-twirling will at one point become so smoothly related to one another, that the tango without the music will be inherent.  Which completely explores the whirlwind courtship, rife with sexual desire, attempted by two people who never get an actual moment alone together, until now.

…And will set up the very distinct difference between their more grown-up romance, versus the childishly innocent fairy-tale Algy n’ Cecily one,

God, how I love a good Director, who knows what they want, and knows how to get it out of you.

…Even on the first, damn, day.

HUZZAH!!!

…Off to study lines now. 

As ever, it has been made clear to me: One must acknowledge the vital importance of getting the hell off book as soon a possible. So off I go to it. In earnest.

~D

Ongoing Jewish MILFism

3 Mar

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Great day! 

…Finished my book in PJ’s, made a breakfast salad, jumped in shower by 10:30, and went for 5 mile walk on Owen’s Beach at Pt. Defiance.  The weather is ridiculously amazing today, and it felt so good to get out of a building and breathe fresh sea air!!

…Then back for a lunch of a veggie burrito, and some rest time with the BBC on stream. 

…And then: Lines.

Lines, lines, lines.

Am off book for Act I now, but still need the script for blocking purposes. 

Never having run the scenes after blocking, (but before moving onto the next one, as is the fashion)…in order to get it finished within the crammed scheduled time…I have zero sense memory to go off of. The movements are frequently not based around our own lines but other people’s…so, recalling every shift and counter (even though they are all written down) is going to take a bit longer. 

…Sorta like a less manic version of the time I did “Noises Off”, and had to get 300% off book for lines, so I could spend all my time reading my intricate blocking, and prop usage like a book, at speed.

Tonight, we begin actual scene work, with two of them slotted…which still seems a large bite to take for 2.5 hours in review, with first crack at the blocking. But then I never thought we’d seriously block over 30 pages per day, either.  So who the hell knows what will happen.

…We have 8 more rehearsals before our first Act run…which is 20 hours of rehearsal.  2.5 hours after that, we run Act 2…and our first full run is 12.5 hours after that.  This is totally doable. I just tend to panic with large chunks being eaten, right off the back.  You tend to choke  a bit when that happens.  But, this is a new process, a new Director, a new house.  As a campaigner in a new theatre of War, I just gotta relax, keep my kit in order and up to date, and trust in the Captain. 

So I will.

…Meanwhile, am embracing my inner Jew, and lines, while sashaying around the house like a harlot.  It’s been a while since I’ve been called on for this kinda part. The one where you are overwhelmingly self-secure in the fact that matron 42 is the new sexually ripe 20. 

…The gams and flirt gets rusty, when you’ve let the body default into frowsy old maid for as long as I have. Time to bust out the “high maintenance,” pop on those heels, and dust off some man-eating MILF.

…Albeit, a slightly ridiculously over-shooting one.

Oh, I can do that.  

…I can do that hard.

I have a fur coat, bitches.

(snap.)

…Mmmm hmmm…

(enter cat purr, sly grin, and overtly obvious wink: here.)

~D

Speed-Blocking

26 Feb

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Due to one cancelled rehearsal and a max of four per week at roughly 2.5 hours each, Mr. Director has set an unheard of course of blocking. 

His goal is 3 days.

3. Days.

…That’s 101 pages, wherein 8 of the 10 in the cast, never actually leave the stage for more than roughly 1 minute, each at staggered points throughout the show.  We eat on stage, dress on stage, cook on stage, sleep on stage, get in fights, and live on top of each other from the second we arrive until just before the last monologue of the show.

…That’s a LOT of fucking movement, all.  In fact, it is actually a woolly mammoth shit-ton.

It means that whether we are actually in the scene or not, we are still “on,” somewhere…usually in a bedroom on a platform, on the couch, by the “pouf” chair, at the table, working at the stove…going about doing all the things that normal people go about and do in day-to-day life, only in this case, it needs to be paintstakingly blocked, and stipulated step-by-step.  Because, due to the cramped space, and furniture, you almost can’t move until someone else does so as well, so you can counter them, and be (in turn) countered by someone else.

…Again. 8 PEOPLE.

8 People.

3 Platforms.

1 Staircase.

1 Couch, which folds out into a bed.

2 Cots.

3 Beds.

3 Dressers.

1 Dinning room table with chairs.

1 Desk.

1 Side table.

1 Kitchen sink/counter/stove/ice box hybrid

4 Doors.

1 Bookcase.

0 Walls.

…Tonight, we finished through Scene 2 of Act 2, covering all Mrs. Van Daan’s major three freak-outs and melt-downs,  the smoking argument, four costume changes, Anne’s nightmare, Hannukah, the break-in, Peter & Anne’s first real “talk,” and New Years.

…We’re makin’ better “time” than a stripper at a Bachelor Party. 

…But of course have no idea if, at these speeds, we have really retained anything.  It might prob’ly will be one gigantic cluster-fuck by the time we review and start working scenes this Sunday…but by the grace of theatre impossibility-happening-anyway…we might just make it happen.

Theatre’s weird that way.

Especially when you think there is no way in hell it could ever work.

…It’s like a special rule or something.

In the meantime: I built a teaser trailer for the show today.  Am contracted to do it for another theatre in town, but I like to do them for other shows too…mine, that is…to help and get the press out.

Wanna taste?

Alright. You twisted my arm. 

…But spill anything on the fur coat, and your ass is MINE, bub.

~D

The Crying Game

26 Sep

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So…there’s gonna be an issue with keeping a straight face in this show. 

…I’m pretty hard to break when I’m “in” it, but holy hell am I being set up to fail in this one. 

…Scenes where I either walk in all reprimanding because of loud party-going of frat-like proportons…or try to play jokes on an idiot who just DOES NOT understand what in the hell I’m doing….or have to stand straight-faced, while the audience (I promise you) will be peeing their pants and braying like donkeys over the TOTAL loss of dignity of the most love-to-be-hated character…are killing me at the moment.

I am so screwed.

…Also, we are all of two scenes into my own personal blocking and I’ve already been poked, pinched, sniffed, picked up, ass-grabbed, and motor-boated.

Comedy. Its a good thing.

…Except when you can’t react to it.

Then its “evil.”

Like now, for instance.

…Well, actually, “now” is the time that it doesn’t count. I can laugh NOW as much as I like. In hopes to get it all out before its time for other people to laugh at it. Which it good. Cuz last night I was ripping it so hard, I was ugly-faced-crying in the corner, up stage left, waiting for an entrance I seriously could NOT FUCKING MAKE, because I was afraid if I stood up from the crouched laughing position, I would just pee all over myself.

…Which, I think, (though validating to the other actors on stage), would not really be appropriate. ‘Specially as it isn’t “technically” our stage yet…it’s still borrowed until the current show closes. Explaining those kinda stains on the Sherlock set, might add a whole other layer of “mystery” than they are really intending.

…But so goes “theatre.”

Sometimes…its just hilarity. And unexplainable pee stains.

~D

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