Thursday, November 12, 2009

'Revolution and Rehearsal'

Long rehearsal yesterday. I finally got on the stage at the theatre and ripped through the show. The acoustics in the theatre are amazing--sounds like a really great monitor system, I'm happy about that. I've been 'tweaking' the show again, but as I may have said before, its very satisfying to reach a point where I'm changing small words. Memorizing them again is a different story. Once you learn something said a certain way, its hardwired into the brain and body, and hard to change. This time, I'm working directly on the script, I take a pen and underline the parts that are paraphrased, and wash, rinse, and repeat... Its tedious, but exciting to be at 'this point' in the show. I'm reaching that place where I 'really' know the show, and so have no fear of losing place. In San Francisco, I had a night, sitting on the stool when a light came up and blinded me for 'just a second', I was disoriented for a moment, and when I came to, I had no idea where I was in the show. There was no other actor to 'save me', so I thought, "Maybe I'll just play some random song and it will come to me..." As I walked to the guitar, (still not knowing where I was) I quickly did the Stanislavski trick, which is to place all your focus somewhere on the stage the size of a quarter, and the memory will work. I stared at the inside of my hat on the chair, (remember, all this is in seconds) and sure enough, I remembered where I was in the script. Ironically, it was recalling the 'disappearing specialist'. It's why the one-person show is called 'The White Buffalo' of plays, difficult to find, and difficult to keep alive.

I've had my apartment for a few days now, and am finally getting some routine, and although there is still much to do, I'm getting an early start. The last four days, I've been walking my four miles, and taking 'Baby' to the dog park. I'm learning that if I let her run with the other dogs, she is much easier to control for the rest of the day. Having to consider 'her' in everything I do, I'm finding I'm slowing down in my actions as opposed to 'speeding up' to get everything done. I'm learning lots from having this dog. At the end of the day though, she really is a joy to have, she even likes listing to Etta James...(is this crazy dog talk?) The other crazy thing is being at the dog park and meeting the other dog owners and dogs. I didn't know that I would talk incessantly about my dog. Baby did this, Baby did that... blah, blah, blah... WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME?

I know I was hard on capitalism the other day, but I realize its more of the 'loss of idealism' that I am chiming about. As we get older, its very easy to lose that idealism we had when we were younger and out to change the world. Life, experience, love, death, disappointments, etc., slow down those original plans and dreams. It's why I loved teaching high school so much, at seventeen or eighteen, the world seems 'ever before you'. If you're that age and can keep your emotions from keeping you off the rail of the bridge, the world is still your oyster. So, how do we keep our dreams alive as we age and become more jaded? I think always, re-invention, revolution, and curiosity. I admit, it is a little easier for me to move and do crazy theatre things without a mortgage to pay, without a family, or even a relationship, still, re-creation is an option for anyone, and its a cliche, but each day, that opportunity is given to us. I always love the idea of revolution not as the overthrow of a government, but as the arresting and overthrow of ourselves. I've always respected my mother for this, even though I don't always agree with her, at seventy-seven, she never stops pushing the ideas around. I have never met anyone who is as tireless in her creation. Its always inspiring to talk to her. The notion of revolution as a means to the 'way out' of that which is holding you down, is like discovering that there is indeed a creator in this universe. Put down your burden and pick up a sword...

Okay, preaching is over for today, its time to go to work. I have twelve things on my list that need to be done in the next twenty-four hours, and some of them seem impossible. I have to build a video shelf for the slides with very few tools, and find a screen, to cross off just two from my list. One day, I'm going to make a list of all the things one has to do to produce a play. I'm finding however, that at this point the show is minimal, I'm no longer trusting in 'sound production' or 'bells and production whistles' to rely on. I can use a card table two chairs, two stools, a screen, a projector, three shot glasses, fake whiskey, two photo albums, a house manager, and a tech operator. Still, with the credit card, set-up, the programs, the constant publicity, and the rehearsal, it still seems never-ending... cheers, start a!


Connie said...

I love what you said about your mother, 'it's always inspiring to talk to her'
No one could ask for more than that!!
You are so much like her(and the energizer bunny -LOL) you keep going and going and going

caroline said...

Re-creation, revolution and curiosity...wish I could truly tell you how timely it was to read that today.

Gerry said...

I am learning something here about how you do a show and remember your lines. This blog is an eye opener, since it has been yeass since I really took a part. There's a whole lot more to a play after you start to bring it to life. I always thought it was magical to watch those speeches on paper jump up and come to natural fruition in the mouths of the actors. Crazy stuff starts happening from the writer's point of view, both exciting and surprising. Right?
I really enjoyed visiting with you here in Phoenix, touching base again before you left town. You always inspire me, too, son. said...

I am enjoying being part of the process. Taking a show out to the world takes real work just getting all parts to work in a new stage area. I am very happy to let you do it! Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I think it's also a part of aging that the "stuff" just doesn't seem to matter as much as it used to. But it still is a challenge to determine what to be spending your time doing that matters. I'm glad you're spending your time on this project.