The first reading of Wipe Away I was surprised that I wasn’t nervous, I’m enjoy having the writer be present but not direct it is a new experience for me. What was nice about Mark is he was able to articulate the reason for evrything we spoke about because of the history with the play and living with it for years. The first meeting with Mark he asked me if I thought Travis was gay or not with an smile on his face. He said, “I know, but I’m not saying.” I said that Ithink as an actor I will make a concrete decision, but if you have read the play and understand that phycologicaly he may not even understand what being gay is or even comprehend There were moments when talking about the patrons and the house that I saw how much Mark and Nick have already thought about the complexities of the play/situation/Gina/Travis/Dustin/Ray . I am having a lot of “ew” moments during the readings when I’m understand why Gina says this about Dustin or when Travis talks about the men. I’m find its best to say to myself, “Okay, pedophelia:gross, but I need to actually think about the situation in order to analyze the play and be able to do justice to the intentions of the playwright.”
Gina and Travis understand that they have been “taken by Dustin” and from my point of view because I have never been abducted; howvever don’t even think of it as a nice moment in my life where as I’m seeing that Gina absiloutley does or rather has been brainwashed to think that and when Travis was younger the moments with Dustin before Gina had glimmers of hope and promise .
The process of having Mark add/cut/create things in the play has been helpful in understanding the play; however what is in the final script for performance will not be seen, so my job here is to high light what needs to be understood for the audience in the specific script we are working on and not the previous. It is a challenge, but the good kind of challenge where you feel like you have done something. I think the readings have been my favorite part so far, the script will continue to evolve and we’ll have to move with it.
Nick is asking some thought provoking questions during rehearsals, which has helped me to find the parts of Travis that aren’t so earnest but more thoughtful. Mark asked if there were any parts we miss that have been cut in different drafts for our insight to help him which I think is an interesting aproach to editing your own work asking your actors. There are parts I miss from the original script and the second draft, though it will get to be the first person t o say these new words. I’m having a wonderful time working with Nick and Mark, as I expected.
Jessica and I are both Atlantic Theater students and she is just as excited to be working on this project as I am, she has brought alot to the rehearsals and shocked me with moments of real sweet mixed with determined. We have actually had discussions in rehearsal with Mark about being young actors in todays world.. which actually helped in the readings strangley.
I am very anxious to see whats to come next in working on this play.