Waiting for the Ink to Dry

A series of journals describing the day in the life of Kelley Bright, an aspiring actress, director, writer and all around artist. Hiding and, more often, displaying unbecoming emotions at the most poignant times is my specialty. This should be interesting...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Blocking Blur...

Alright! We finally have this thing under way. It is so funny because of the all directors I am furthest along (save Nick’s set… I think he’s got one up on me on that). My cast and I spent a good five days in intensive blocking. Here is the reason: we are all leaving over spring break. The only day we have to do anything is the Monday before we return. So, I knew I had to be completely done with the cast portion of the show by Wednesday. Let’s just say it was fun and interesting.
So my first read through was fantastic. We all sat down, talked about the show, what I wanted, and how this was going to work. And then we read. So the reading was less than great. But I wasn’t super concerned; because I believed my cast could get there eventually. My biggest concern was the play coming off too “high school.” The way they were saying their lines was completely quad drama. But we talked about it, and everything seemed to be fine.
The next few rehearsals were all about blocking. GoSh! I am just excited thinking about it. We’ve been using Ms. K’s room because she is normally at school until about five, and we’ve been getting along really well lately. I know… weird. Anyway, we pushed back the desks, used one of her tables, and several chairs, and just did it. All was going fine, except the first day Jaylon and Sonya were so awkward with each other. He wasn’t being helpful at all. For instance, if she had to try and get him to move, like a hug or even walking with her, he would just not even recognize her efforts. I told him that as an actor, you are always acting. You have to respond. He finally got it. So I think I fixed that problem. Here is the problem with my blocking in the first unit: it looks cool, but would she really do that. Half of me says absolutely. It fits the moment and the mood. The other half of me says that most people don’t so that kind of stuff. Speaking of that, urgency is such a huge issue! There are a few times, where I need them to move faster, urgently, and they just don’t get it. I want to light a fire under them. I think it might be not having enough space to continue moving, or I don’t know… I am hoping that is the problem. Because then I would need to be creative in trying to solve this problem. And I feel lazy.
Okay so I stumbled into this really cool moment at rehearsal. Jaylon had forgotten one of his lines, and there was this big pause, a huge smile, and then a laugh through the line. It was perfect! It fit the show so ridiculously. The pause was hysterical. And it didn’t look like he had forgotten his line. We so put it in the show. It was great.
Line delivery has been challenging. They both like to end on higher pitches, not matter the sentences. And when I tell them to drop their pitch or register or whatever, they are so dramatic. It won’t come out natural because the drop is too significant/ dramatic. I know there is a way to make it work. That’s another thing I have to work on. I’ll give a note, or I’ll translate a line (i.e.: the line is “you sold the twin towers.” It really means “I have no idea, tell me.”) And then they’ll do it 100 times bigger than I need it. I want to say “you guys are portraying real people!” There wouldn’t be a problem if I could get them to tone it down after but I can’t. Once I correct it, it is corrected. It is semi funny, semi annoying. It isn’t too terribly bad or anything. Because I believe the show is still good.
The more serious part of the show needs work. A lot. I am not too worried. Everything is falling into place.
My favorite part of the process so far was Wednesday. Just don’t tell my cast. They had the giggles so bad. They would not stop laughing through all the serious parts of the show. It was hysterical. They just couldn’t do it. We spent like a half an hour trying to make them stop laughing. We were really not productive that day at all. But good news is we’re blocked.
Now does anyone know how to make airplane wings?


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