Last week one of my duties during rehearsal was cat-sitting Sam Newport’s cat, Gaby. She is making her stage debut in Angels in America as Little Sheba! Anyway, Kristen (my fellow catsitter) and I left the room for about a minute, made sure she didn’t get out when we left, and came back to find her nowhere in the drafting studio! We panicked and started looking all over the basement of CFA including platform storage, the bathrooms and dressing rooms, and the green room. I went to Sam and told her, so she rushed back to the drafting studio and lo and behold, Gaby had cinched herself under a shelf that Sam had tried to block off. She had been there the entire time and nearly given us all a heart attack.
Other than that, things have been going swell! The technical elements of this show are absolutely astounding and apparently is the biggest spectacle Knox has ever put on! I watched parts of the tech run-throughs the other day and I could not stop flipping out at how cool everything was! So get excited!
London Bridge is a metaphor for my excitement upon which Tech Week has taken its toll. I’ve been thinking about what to write for a day…still nothing but TECH WEEK oozing from my pores. Tech week… This was my first tech experience and I was naively excited when it began. Now I know better. Yes, I fell asleep in many places I never thought possible: on panels, all over the backstage floor, on people. Anywhere because all we did was wait. It’s a four day doctor’s office, a purgatory, a prison. I’ve gushed about Rep Term this whole time—I still love it—but my London Bridge of excitement is falling down. But then dress rehearsal arrived and made me giddy and nervous. Some costumes lighten my mood, quick changes stress me out, and the overall realization that this-show-is-happening-and-I-will-be-wearing-these-clothes-in-front-of-an-audience makes me expect more of myself, which makes me nervous that I won’t deliver…But there were moments tonight, as the show was running, when all of worries and self-criticism went away and I got to be Harper—for quick fiery moments—and it felt great. I can’t wait to feel that more and for longer and over and over again during the show. Tech was worth it…I guess.
In this week’s Webisode, hear an interview from our stage managers, Lauren and Kat, watch a bit more of movement class, and meet the show cat, Gabby.
In this week’s Webisode, learn about lights from our lighting designer, Ryn Flynn, and about how to effectively promote a show from our PR Chair, Lindsey Murrell.
Today was our very first day of tech! We had a paper due in seminar at 2:30, which was also when our call for tech was. There were a fair number of us who stayed up into the wee hours working furiously on writing. I don’t know if I want to divulge how late I was up, but it was fairly late.
There are still a few things that props has to do, but luckily I have until opening night to get everything done. However I am shooting to get things done before the final dresses for each show so that all the props will have been used at least once. The angel book is coming along fantastically! It’s so close to finished it hurts. I had some people make some fabulous posters for a funeral procession that takes place in Perestroika. The other big thing I worked on today was figuring out the correct recipe to make fake, edible, washable blood. I literally worked on this from 2:30pm until I had to be on stage for my scene at 10:30pm. Everything worked out very well and there is even a video of me and Lyle (another Rep termite) making the blood.
I have to get into CFA a little early tomorrow morning to test flash paper in the hopes of using it in our cue to cue tomorrow. So I’m off to bed early tonight.
I cannot believe there is one week until opening…
I think I’ve gotten closer to Harper this week. I’m Harper by the way. In Millennium Approaches. The whole acting process is inevitably that: a loooong process that I have slowly discovered. Poor preliminary interpretation of words, then some impulse and forced physical reaction, then dangerous intellectualizing of the character, then true understanding of dialogue, then connection to body and mind, and NOW: tweaking, enriching, enjoying. Tactics in tone and Laban movement have been mapped onto the script, elements embodied, but finally, emotion and real understanding has been reached.
I feel like I know what Harper wants; she desperately and pitifully wants what most human beings seek: love and genuine life. Love that desires passionately and life that does not pretend to be what it is not. Life that risks and love that doesn’t lie. Not settling to settle down, not a fake calm, but a fiery, moving, shifting existence that burns away pretense and heats up spirited truth. Life that does not act on expectation but on the basis of desire and devotion and improvement. It’s a challenge playing Harper because of the opposing forces of longing hope and instant fear that blaze within her, but she faces the challenge of the living: doubt and revelation.
I enjoy her scenes, I enjoy her moments, especially her gloriously sensible hallucinations, and I’m starting to enjoy her hardships and strength in attacking her obstacles. Mostly, I love her.
Exhaustion. That is what I feel at this moment. I’ve spent the last three hours in the catwalks hooking up lights, which isn’t hard at all, but hurts your back after a while of hunching over and walking. I also feel productive with how many lights we got hooked up, but we ran out of cable and had to leave ten lights behind.
We’ve also started full stumble throughs for both shows, meaning all of us have to be at the four hour rehearsals the entire time. We are all starting to feel the exhaustion more and more, and come tech week it will only intensify. Don’t get me wrong, the process is still fun and both of the shows are shaping up very well! We just need to prepare ourselves for the coming weeks if we thought this week was hard. It feels wonderful when our hard work is paying off so well.
I am also now helping create the lobby display for the performances and we have a lot of great ideas to work with from class. We want to make wing shaped structures with headlines from newspapers in the 1980’s to accompany the other information and make the display more interesting. We’ve also heard many other ideas, but we just need to figure out what we have time to do at this point. But I am determined to make it marvelous!
Classes have been really fun this week. We did a lot of Laban movement corresponding to our lines in Voice class and contact improv in Movement. The Laban work was extremely helpful for finding out nuances in our characters and contact improv included a lot of rolling on people and flipping over their backs. I bet everyone else at Knox College is jealous of our class material!
In this week’s Webisode, see some more of Voice Class and our progression with R.P., learn a bit about our sound design from our sound designer, Pier Debes, and see the progression of our set.
In this Rep Term XV Webisode, see what we’re learning in our Voice and Movement classes and learn a bit about costumes from our designers and crewmembers.
In this week’s Webisode, listen to the progression of accents and learn a bit about props and make-up from our designers, Glo Feliciano and Kate Donoghue.