Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Monday, May 21, 2007

Don't Call it a Comeback

So last night marked my return to directing, and the start of a new venture. I know, I don't have enough on my friggin' plate, I had to add something else. But hang with me, it's a cool new thing, I hope.

Last night was first rehearsal for Hamlet, and we had about 2/3 of the cast on hand for a brief company meeting and some ensemble-building exercises. Nothing like a ropes course or typical middle-management shit, but similar enough that you get the picture. A cast is like a family - dysfunctional.

Wait, that's not what I meant. Yet. I might mean that about this cast by the time we're all done, but right now I'm still all excited and I love them all. Check back with me mid-July and we'll see where we stand. But anyway. The first thing I do when we begin the rehearsal process is a game called 20 Questions. It plays a little differently than the original, though.

The cast, stage manager and I all sit in a circle. Beginning with me in the "hot seat," we rotate around the circle, and everyone in the circle gets to ask the person in the hot seat one question. Any question. Answering is voluntary, but everyone almost always answers. You get some good insights into the people you're spending so much time with for the next six weeks or so, and it breaks the ice, especially when you have about half the cast that has worked together many times before and everybody knows everybody else really well, and some folks that know absolutely no one in the room. So we played 20 Questions for about an hour and a half, and then I let everybody go home early. Hope they don't get used to that shit, it's a long play.

But the thing I started last night was my documentary. More like my friend JW and my documentary, since he's shooting it and editing it, I'm just providing the platform. He's shooting the rehearsal process for the play. I've always thought that the stuff that goes on before a show opens is far more interesting than what goes on onstage, and this is my chance to see if I'm right. We've got a pair of Canon XL-1 cameras, a few MiniDV tapes, a brand new 320GB portable hard drive, a laptop or two and we're gonna make a movie!

I'm sure it's not that simple, but it's probably not gonna be too much more complicated by the time we're done. So JW shot all the 20Q stuff, and got some good stuff on why people do theatre, what their best and worst experiences in theatre have been, and that kinda stuff. And he'll shoot intermittently as we go along. It might be interesting, it might be rancid shit, but it's something I've always wanted to try, and now I've got someone with the camera gear and ability to actually make that happen. I'll keep you posted.

And I'm done with online poker for another month, thanks to Gamecock deciding to rejoin the land of the living and taking my monthly FTP welfare check off my hands in exchange for some real live spendable money.

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