Tom Rowan, the director for FU 4 Your Service, made a good point tonight at the rehearsal for the staged reading on Saturday about not being afraid to simply read. The danger in this is one can get caught up in the acting and making eye contact too much and lose where one is in the script. Then lines are lost, read wrong, cues dropped and the pacing deadened. You want to connect and listen to your scene partner but not to the detriment of the script.
He said a little eye contact goes a long way and I agree. The idea, he said, is that we are wanting to give the sense of the shape of a performance of the play, not the second rehearsal.
I'm playing a guy running for Congress who has gone crazy in this play. I have to push the game more than allowing it to happen. The trick is doing that slickly but still having enough genuine there to seem like I'm still from the planet Earth. Otherwise it's too Jim Carrey, but maybe I shouldn't worry about it.
It's a good play and I think the reading will show how ready it is.
Makes me wonder about first read-throughs in general. Folks make a lot of hay about their purpose and worth. Some say they are only good for getting through the first day. Others like to use it to lay the foundation. But tonight makes me think that it really is to get a road map towards what the audience will encounter on opening night.
I've never had a second read-through. I mean, I've been in shows that read scenes endlessly and do a looooot of table work. But I haven't sat down with the script and cast and read it all again half-way through rehearsals either as a reminder or as a way to clear out some of the b.s. I wonder if it would help? I've read plays from beginning to end on my own when I've been lost but not with others.
Then again, I've only had the luxury of too much rehearsal a few times and it was usually just a colossal disaster of a show, with a lot of impossible ideas layered on things for no reason other than ego. Good times. Good times.