Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Brazil and the Art of Passion'

Yesterday, rehearsal went fantastic. It was one of those days when I realized why I do this. I've memorized and blocked 16 pages. I'm still stumbling on parts of the text, but I have almost thirty-five minutes of the show up and blocked. I'm still re-writing, staying several pages ahead before so that I'm not re-memorizing, but I really like working like this. I think with theatre, if you can do it, its the only way to work. Rehearsals inform the writing in a way you cannot have just using your imagination. Anther rule I loosely apply: If there is a part that isn't working the first or second time you try to stand it up, it will probably be some of the best writing in the text. When you start to innovate and 'reach', you begin to find elements of the writing that seemed hidden at first. I'm not talking about 'flowery' language in the writing, I'm talking about nuts and bolts, or writing that seems 'unwanted' in the text. Its the 'breakthrough' writing, or the writing that deeply connects to something in you that is difficult to say. Yesterday, I went in an hour early and worked on line read throughs to find the trouble spots, and then came back to the apartment to pick up Kurt for the longer part of the rehearsal. One clue to knowing I was going to have a great rehearsal is that I didn't want to go in. I resisted all morning as I did the re-writing, I had to force myself to get in the truck and travel down to the theatre. Its the 'faith opposing feelings' dilemma. The discipline dilemma. I've learned that most of the time, anything that 'taxes' you hard does not come with a boat load of feelings, in fact most of the time your feelings will try to take you in a different direction. Thus faith becomes an important function of action. Action without feelings, believing that the feelings will come if you 'take action'. The old 'get to the mountain' first routine. 

We arrived home at 7:00p yesterday evening with a message from Scott that he was going to The First Brazilian Film Festival at the old Egyptian theatre in Hollywood. Again, the last thing I wanted to do was go to a film festival after a grueling rehearsal day. I am SO glad I did! It was a wonderful evening, (and free!) we missed the red carpet part, but got there and inside early enough to see the 'kick-off' movie, 'Romance', which was an amazing movie. As fate would direct, it was a movie about theatre, film, and television, but mostly about being an artist. It was so beautifully done! Latin cultures can delve into 'love' without ever sounding pretentious, there was so much emotion in this movie! And it was about love and passion! It was a great reminder of finding those feelings that are somewhere in all of us, the ones that we either buried or forgot about. Find the romance! Find the love and let it explode! It was a beautifully rendered film, and of course the festival was filled with Brazilians, which I have not been around to much. Wow, what a beautiful culture! There is something powerful about the way they approach life and being in a social situation like that.  All the beverages and wonderful food was in abundance and offered up in large quantities, I didn't want to leave! However, today is another long rehearsal day, and so we left before the stroke of midnight. As I was driving home, I found myself thinking about the times in my life when art and passion seemed to be in everything, as much a part of life as eating and drinking. Perhaps that is still there, but so often we forget that food can either be fuel or 'an experience'.  Love can either be an action void of feeling or 'an experience'. A great film, or a great piece of art can resurrect thoughts and feelings within you that may have been dormant. Again, it was a choice of faith, and certainly not feeling that got us to this festival. Once we were there, we didn't have to try and 'work' anything up, it came in a flood. Thank you Brazil! 

Today will be a long day, but I think a good one--after yesterday the electricity seems to be flowing fast, I'll take advantage of it as long as I can. Perhaps yesterday was a turning point in the rehearsal process, and it will continue through the show. There is always a turning point in each show, where you would spend your last ten dollars on paint, because there is a passion that goes beyond what you believe you are capable of. As the budget for the show subsides, and the money dwindles into a thousand unforseen practicalities, you live with the art, and that has to be enough...


Gerry said...

I am always happy to read a new entry in an interesting blog, in fact yours is so technical on a subject most of us know little about, that I am sure it has reached a new level in excellence. We are really getting an inside look on what it is to get a new performance piece up in Los Angeles, and you will have us all on pins and needles I am sure before you are done. People in Utah are rallying around to see if they can make the trek into Los Angeles (quite a ways) and we in Phoenix are talking about it now we have finally got Andy's terific basketball skills viewed, and are getting ready to cheer on the Cardinals in the unlikely job of winning the Superbowl. Who would have thunk a year ago that they would be in this spot and you would be in Los Angeles putting up this show. I know you can write arresting monologue for the stage, and putting it together with music reminiscent of your relationship with your dad, will add even more to the mix. Hello, Los Angeles! M.

Larena said...

Don't you just love it when you have day that everything flows the way it is suppose to. Then all the hard work and discipline is worth it. Thanks for sharing your experiences.You are indeed a Hollywood trooper. i assume your hip has healed, considering your six mile walks.