Today we ran the show twice. Over this past week we’ve been ramping up to this day. We wanted to get in two runs to solidify the things we’ve been working on before we took off for 5 days over the christmas holiday and everyone went on their way to see family and memorize their lines.
One of the most important things for me, as we go into running the show, is that there’s nothing “wrong” during a run. It may not be what we had worked out, we may have gotten lost, and we may have skipped a bunch of lines, but nothing is “wrong”. It’s the reality of the moment. Stopping and starting for me is counter productive to what will happen when we get an audience in to the space. We can’t stop at that point, so lets get used to dealing with whatever may be going amiss now, while we’re in rehearsal. This playfulness is very important to training ourselves to go with the flow and not freeze up when something is off. This, at it’s essence, is the magic of live theatre, for me. Which is something that film will never be able to replicate.
Some of my most magical moments in the theatre have come from a “mistake” happening. It’s at that moment that everyone on stage, and in the audience, listens a little harder and the energy in the room goes through the roof. It’s in these moments that something truly magical can happen. It’s managing those moments of “all is lost” that the audience asks themselves “how did they do that?” And in that moment actors become a little more than human.
One of my favorite quotes from the great Wesley Fata, our movement teacher at Yale, is: “you’re a little more than human when you’re on stage.” I believe that in my heart.
However, we can’t get to those moments without practicing for them. And there is no time more ripe than in the first run through.
Overall, it was an encouraging day. There are many wonderful moments taking shape and, just as importantly, there were many moments missed. I feel like we each have a strong sense of what we need to work on over our break so we can come back full speed after Christmas.