Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mrs. Warren - Designer Run

Jan. 20th

Preston is back from his bout with the croupe. We’ve had a couple of run throughs by now and today we did what they call a “designer run” - yes, for the designers: set, costumes, lights, sound, etc. Some of them we hadn’t seen since our first “meet ‘n greet” on day one. And our vocal coach was also out there. And of course you’re trying to impress them all, and it all feels strange with these new faces in the room staring at you, and the acting goes out the window. What we forget (or shall I speak for myself only here) is that each of them is looking at is from his point of view only and not necessarily from an “audience” POV. The lighting designer is mulling over what color gel to use in what sequence, the sound man conjuring pretty set change interludes, etc. But then there is the vocal coach whom you know is sitting our there with bat-like ears picking up EVERY incorrect dialectical stress you make and because of her presence, most of your focus in the beginning of the run is on accent. All emotional reality dissolves when you’re just listening to yourself speak. Dreadful. Fortunately that focus does eventually revert to the background of your consciousness once you’re in the thing for a while.

At the end of the first act I wondered why I had gone into this business and was convinced that I should perhaps take some of Mr. Lane’s college acting classes. And let me tell you, this is not a happy feeling (even though I’ve not doubt his classes are fabulous). Though I know I’m a good actress, when you feel that the muse has deserted you, all faith in your abilities flees. When I can’t believe what I’m saying, how can I expect an audience to believe it?? But that’s where technique comes into play. And that’s what enables you to go on to Act II and not immediately run to the nearest plumbing trade school tuition money in hand.

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