Slow To Post

I think that this blog will, in pretty short order, be turned over to a daddy-n-me blog about our boy who’s supposed to come at some point between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. What I would like to do is to create a theater blog that is completely anonymous, but that’s basically impossible. The other option is that I call a spade a spade, and everyone who works with me does so knowing that they will end up being mocked or praised relentlessly on this site, but the people I work with most frequently would really rather I didn’t do that.

I’m not sure how people manage to post politically, but it might be that most people are in development a lot more than we are, and their pieces certainly don’t suffer for it. We are always pressing toward a production, we are always actually working with people we don’t know, and there is a fear that they will find this under-read blog and get pissed.

Which is kinda weird if you think about it. What if I never wrote anything that wasn’t true? What if I relentlessly mocked someone for, just as an example, saying all of their lines letter perfect in rehearsal and then *never* saying them in performance? Or if I made fun of a director for not knowing the plot of the show he was directing? I mean, these would be criticisms that the rest of the theater community should know about, by hiding these deficiencies, am I actually hurting the art-form that I love most deeply?

It’s a question for another time, I guess.

What I would really like, in a perfect world, would be for an assembly line mentality to putting on a show. I wish that there was an understanding of how long a rehearsal schedule was, of what the responsibilities of each person involved are, and a timeline by which those things needed to be accomplished. I wish there wasn’t this sense of “okay, by Saturday, we’re off-book, and by tuesday, we’re doing a run” or whatever.

I know that’s insane. but I really wish that when you get cast in a show, and then you don’t have your lines memorized by a certain number of rehearsal hours after the beginning, you didn’t have a leg to stand on. I wish that it didn’t have to be *said* that what happens in rehearsal is what is supposed to happen in performance, barring a person in the audience dying or a falling fresnel or whatever.

Of course, I guess the question is, who would decide? What would the industry standard be? In my opinion, it’s perfectly reasonable for a director to spend 25% of the rehearsal period working out the physical space, 40% of the rehearsal period working out the emotional and interpersonal relationships, and the last 35% of the time fixing problems. The actor should be expected to use all of the time outside rehearsal developing the internal personal life of the character and articulating all of the personal physical motions and movements, so that 100% of the time in rehearsal is spent working on timing and relationships with other actors.

But that’s just my opinion. The very second that a director says “At this point, you should take your hands out of your pockets and cross them” I think to myself “the money that was just spent on rehearsal will never come back, the ten second it took for that director to say that will never come back, those ten seconds are now gone, and now something important will disappear…”

Of course, the second an actor says “why does my character cross stage right” I think to myself, “Oh my God, I hate you so fucking much.”

Actually, what I think is, “Since you obviously have never taken an acting class in your life, and since you’ve never worked toward solving mildly inorganic problems in a way that makes sense, let me just let you know that your entire life when you are not on stage you make movements toward no obvious goal, you have very small and simply motivations for everything you do, and discovering those little things is YOUR FUCKING JOB. Establishing stage pictures and balance is the DIRECTOR’S FUCKING JOB. If you want to learn about yourself and have magical feel-good moments then go back to school and get some fucking Svengali acting teacher that will learn you how to cry real tears and shit, but so help me God if you stall in the face of forward motion on the making of this play, I will take it as sabotage and I will want nothing more than to rip your fucking heart out.”

Which is why, maybe, I should create a blog where I’m anonymous. That hatred that you guys feel toward dictators and bad presidents and your boss at work? I reserve that ire for bad theater people. I’ve never been torn from slumber by President Bush, but I have from bad directors and actors.