First Rehearsal

Bricken is back from her trip studying kabuki in Japan. We had our first rehearsal in Shetler Studios. Down below one can see the David Letterman building. I was always having to refocus from seeing billboards behind Bricken’s head for some dumb show with bald man and the new Will Ferrell sports movie. Now he’s a basketball player.
It’s always weird getting up and hearing the sound of your voice going forever. I started with the first character being very nasal. That was really annoying really fast. Bricken suggested more of a surfer guy hipster thing. I found I could be more appropriately condescending with that. It’s always funny to me when a character is being superior or angry at Chris Harcum. She’s letting me do more cartoon sounds for the physical comedy bit in the middle.
I am trying to be better about going with other people’s input on these things without arguing how it feels wrong. I only did that twice tonight. I am doing a George W. Bush monologue mostly cobbled from transcripts of things he’s said. I wanted to give the feeling that he will just go off to play golf one day without much care. Bricken thought he should be clearing brush because you see him doing that a lot back in Crawford. The golf won for now. I think she’s right that he should be making it like a drinking game.
The old man in the second monologue is more tricky than meets the eye. I have to conjure up this snack bar the old guy runs at this New England train station. The accent and the miming on top of the talking to someone who isn’t there is nutty. My cousin, Linwood, is a professional mime. I should get him to come out and watch a rehearsal to give me some pointers. Samara is probably not going to like what I’m doing right now with the dialect. I started focusing on the business instead of the accent so it went a little Irish. It’s kind of like watching the guys who play the drums, guitar, harmonica, and sing all at once. I should do some exercises to wake up more of my brain.
I was drained after rehearsal. At the end of three hours, we hadn’t gotten to all the characters. 7 down, 3 to go. The last 3 are a little easier. There are a few that are a cinch. Some need more work. I think the angry father from the Bronx will be a good one. I was yelling and someone opened the door to make sure things were ok in the room. That was irritating but way cool now that I think about it.
It looks like the chair will be getting more time on stage and more bits than expected. I thought I’d mention that for all the fans of the critically acclaimed chair. I have a couple of days to get more off book. I hate that slow crawl to getting one of these down. The writing in this is more linear so it’ll be easier to know what’s coming next as long as I know which character I’m doing. It’s more like being in a band where you play one complete song and then another rather than jumping all over the place. I think my next one will be more jazzy like that. Less character based. There are still a few places in it where I wince because of things said in it. My Abu Graib torturer had a few lines that sounded like a bad villain from an action film waxing philosophical in that way only characters with an IQ south of 80 can. I can go too far sometimes and get line cutting happy. I guess once you get the taste of blood, it’s hard to stop.
Bricken was good about giving feedback for useful things. It is just easier to act around her. I don’t know why. With some people in the room, I stink. I get self-concious or feel like I’m not allowed there. I guess that happens. I feel like I’m allowed to start mediocre with her and build up.
Carolyn is doing a bang up job with the press banner, postcards, and advertisement. I think they will draw a bigger crowd of people who haven’t seen my stuff. That’s the stuff I’m no good at doing. I’m getting better about talking about my work to people who ask. Postcards make me nutty. I hope to soon live in a world where I don’t have to drum up people for every show. One can only go to one’s friends and their friends so often. Then it becomes overkill. I see other artists who have a following and I’ve read a lot about marketing and self-promotion. Something feels dirty about it. I guess that’s what gets in the way for a lot of people. Having $8,000 drop from the sky right now could also help with this. That would cover everyone’s fee, marketing, multimedia, and all the sundries. I know Robert Rodriguez was about using creativity rather than money to solve things but it would be nice to make a pretty show.
As I watch the news, I wonder if this show will be obsolete in a year. Hard to say. I guess we’ll still be in Iraq and that old forgotten place called Afghanistan. This BS about Hussein lying to the world about have WMDs when he didn’t really is a brilliant move by the spin people. It infuriates me but I appreciate the art behind it.