Anticipation

Today’s another day of anticipation, because tomorrow is our first rehearsal!

I went through the script again this afternoon, and made minor tweaks that I had noted during the recent read-thru. Nothing major, all rather irrelevant changes. Tomorrow I’ll probably do it again, to see if there’s anything else to change. There are some things that I want to change because of the way they currently read, or because I fear they hold things back. But then again, we put those words there for a reason, and actors have an uncanny ability to make the illogical on page, logical on stage. (Oh, didn’t mean to rhyme there.) So I want to keep it for now, and see what happens.

Then it’s off to the copy shop so I can bring fresh scripts to the actors tomorrow night, so that when I refer to pg 12, we’re all looking at the same page.

Then…then….oh, man. Then what?!

I always dread the first few rehearsals. I think it takes two or three days to start getting my feet wet, in order to know where we’re going, how to proceed, what to say. Meanwhile everyone looks to the director for….direction.

Once we’re on track, things will move along, and we’ll find the challenges that need to be addressed, and all will be fine. Until then, I feel like a deer caught in headlights. Well, maybe not quite that much, and maybe (hopefully) not this time, but what to do, what to do….

Wait, and see, I guess.

Keeping an eye on the time

Time is precious. There’s so much left to do on this Fringe project, and the schedule is getting tight. I’m hoping to give myself a little respite from the whole thing before moving in to rehearsals. That would mean getting a lot of things done in the next few weeks, including some more edits and rewrites. It’s not only my schedule though—it’s everyone’s.

Workshops can be a helpful process, and I want to get the cast together at least once in June to do a reading and experimenting. This cast, though, are a bunch of busy people.

Just try to get them together in the same room at the same time. Go ahead, I dare you.

No, really. Can someone do it?

Might be time to discover rehearsal’s plan B, but I think it’s all going to work out in the end.

Shooting in the Raw

Oh, life in the theatre! What joy! I’m exhausted.

But I think in a good way.

I took a personal day from the dang day-job because it was getting in the way of actually accomplishing some tasks whose deadlines are rapidly approaching. I needed some breathing room to get some work done. It was a beautiful day outside, so working from home, with my windows open and my dog at my side, was much more appealing than sitting in the windowless, beige, beige and more beige cube.

I was able to work on some production plans, hunting down rehearsal space, wrote show descriptions for marketing materials for the Fringe materials, and arranged (and shot) press photos. [I should just say here that I realize how ridiculous it is that I took the pictures for a show I’ve co-written and am directing, but budget and time constraints made this the best option, and I know I can take a good picture.] 

We’ve been talking about  some ideas of what we wanted in a picture, and I typed up a whole list of shots to take. Then promptly never looked at the list. Fortunately I got most everything anyway, and have more than enough stuff to work with. Everything was shot in RAW to give me the most opportunity for manipulation. I spent last night playing with some of the files – with tints and temperatures and contrast and exposure and shadow and various Photoshop effects.

I think actually one of the coolest things I found was simply in iPhoto (which reads raw files which surprised me.) Boosting the color AND then fading the color almost the same degree makes an eerie look. The more I played with the pictures, the less I liked them as raw, unedited shots, and the more they looked like canvasses ready to be filled.

I could spend hours and hours just playing with the images this way, and it’s really tempting because it’s fun. But I need to find the best ones in terms of composition and how well it will catch and eye and sell this show, and then I can play with those.

Gee, perhaps I should be working at home again today?

How to make a 3-dimensional life on paper

I have to admit I may not be very good at this editing stuff. I may not be very good at…cutting.

I’ve spent about the past two hours reading again through the script, and noting changes and rearranging phrases. (There’s still one section I fear is a bit messy and may need some serious re-arranging, by the way.) But what I’m really finding is that I keep wanting to add more! I need to cut about 15 minutes off the show, and all I keep thinking of are things that add time!

What I really want to do is work it, with the cast. Play with the rhythms and tempos and energy. Speed it up, slow it down, make it big, small, angry, flirtatious, funny, sinister…get characters to fight, challenge, manipulate, trick, seduce…..find out organically where this thing lives.

I’m kind of new to this writing thing, so really, these other ways are the way I feel comfortable. I can only do so much in my head, er rather, I guess, on paper. I mean, even when I direct, I’m usually found pacing the floor in the back of the rehearsal room.

I’ll trudge along though. I’ll make this thing work.

I’ll get those bitches to Winnipeg.

Coming together, and a random string instrument

Things are finally starting to come together. Last week we took a step back from our script and took a look at what it was all about. There’s a lot of story in there, but there wasn’t much POV, there wasn’t a statement, a lesson, a viola.

Ok, not a viola. Not sure where that would be. And it’s not a musical. Although…wait a sec…what if there were a musician, on stage to play the strains of music we supposedly hear from across the street?….interesting idea. It might complicate things, though. I digress.

The point is that there wasn’t that – a point. Why are we telling what this story? What is it we want audiences to get out of seeing it? What do we get out of it? etcetera etcetera etcetera….

Having had that discussion we’re more primed for moving in to the next editing phase, which is taking the feedback we got from our read-thru a couple weeks ago, fleshing those things out in a focused manner, in order to present the actual actors [who are expected to bring this thing to life] something they can work with. I feel like we might be on to something. We might actually be doing something here.

And with any luck, it might just work.

How to spell ABC

Almost ready. It’s almost ready to be read out loud. Through a few writing sessions we’ve managed to edit the whole piece. Now I just hope to not mess it all up when I make the changes and move some scenes from one end to another. I’m not sure I can wrap my head around it all.

Scene B4, B5, B6B, A2, then B6A, and then A4.

Whatever happened to writing a single, straight story? You know, boy meets girl, boy loses girl? This thing is written in a twisting loop, with mirrored scenes.

Yet, I’m not convinced to relabel it all 1, 2, 3.

It feels good. It feels like it’s coming along. But the next test is Saturday’s reading. How will outside eyes and ears respond?

Will they too believe that sometimes the best way to get from point A to C is to not go through B?