I learned alot and met some wonderful people in the process of working on this play. I am looking foward to see what Mark writes and what Nick produces with The Claque in the future. We spent weeks in the rehearsal process, its still a bit strange to of had only one show with all that preperation and working with new drafts of the play. I did learn a lot about my own work ethic, flexibility and concentration as an actor. Some patrons actually thought I was a teen, gave me a laugh.

I thought going into the day of the  festival that it would be hectic but it was a fairly easy day of tech and everyone working at the Sam French festival were friendly, efficient and made it a good experience.  I hope as far as mood, point of view, direction everything came together for Nick, I felt and heard there were some new aproaches in this performance but kept true to what we had been doing in rehearsal.

I was happy with our final,single performance. It was my first time in a festival and I appreciate being asked to be apart of it.

Don’t sugar coat/the Director who taught me how to kiss

Every rehearsal has been dramaticaly different from the previous one, this past rehearsal is no exception. During a run through of the lines with blocking changes, our director intervened and gave me a top of the head kiss to show me how it should be done, with all parties present. It did put more meaning into the kiss with less of the sweet goodbye sense it had prior. Jessika elbowed me during one of the fight runs but I’m finding more fluidity in the struggle moments/contact moments because we have been being specific about it that it has just become muscle memory. I am definitly finding that Travis is there to let every detail of the truth be known while Gina is still in the dark about their life out here in this house. Though there are different levels of truth at the beginning simply stories, the middle the rules with the climax of what she is in the dark about. However letting it unravle truthfully as an actor is the struggle because I know all the information, none of it is new to me however everytime I tell Jessika (gina) the new information somthing dramatically shifts, and the bravery shines through when you don’t apaologize for what your telling her and not sugar coating it.  

The rehearsal before Mark came in and pointed out the break up part that goes into this and asked if we had any questions, but I for the most part answered alot for myself.

Sitting on my fingers, whistling “Dixieland” …

Greetings from Heatwave 2010: July Edition:

WIPE AWAY is, a single line change aside, frozen.  My work as the playwright is pretty much complete.  It is an odd feeling – living and breathing these characters for weeks and months (and in this case, YEARS), and now becoming much more of an observer in the process.  But Jessica and Thomas are creating a Gina and Travis all their own at this point, and it’s exciting to swoop in every other day or so and see how the play is growing in their performances.  What I am most surprised by is how much I’ve discovered about the two shadow characters in the play, Dustin and Ray.  Each set of actors must create these unseen characters in their interactions with each other onstage, and I’ve learned some surprising new twists about them by watching these actors.

Re our director, Nick – I marvel at how artfully he is able to communicate with the actors.  It’s a tricky business, directing plays.  You can’t give away all the secrets you’ve discovered in the script, yet you must be open to what the actors bring to the table and flexible to allow change.  It’s all about change, and Nick is able to roll with those much more gracefully than I.  Thank God I have the pages of my script to clutch!

Heading into more rehearsals/run-throughs and no more rewrites!  I can’t wait to see the mailboxes – rusted or otherwise.

Reading new script today..blue lagoon

I had to stop and write about the new draft I’m reading, there are new lines that have me in stitches.  I’m seeing some changes in the script that are making me think of Blue Lagoon for some reason. I know its strange reference but it is making me think alot more into the isolation. I really love this new addition of the worldbeing the size of a picnic table. I’m actually getting an infinite amount of information with all the new stories cut and added. I’m looking foward to saturdays rehearsal.

On our feet..

Today was was our first rehearsal on our feet with script and  backpack in hand.  My first thought after our first run on our feet was that Ray became more of a character and focus than just Gina for obvious reasons of him driving a car and waiting for him to come but also it brought the urgency of him being there in the end. Things did become a bit messy because of it being our first time with the ability to move from one point in the room to another but soem nice moments happened. We found some natural blocking moments that worked well with the progrssion of the play and not just moving for movement sake.

          Mark said he is hearing lines said that were never heard in rehearsals, which is always good to hear. I think because the two have never been acclimated to real teenager that the child like tactics/fidgety qualities do come out more and I found that today, being on the floor and standing witht he backpack.

             At the end of reharsal we got a taste of the fight choreography today, its hard to make not actually hurt someone when your suppose to make it look like you are but your not.

Table working..

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.

It has begun!

Hi Everyone!
So today we were rehearsing at my favorite place in NYC–The Atlantic Theater Company’s rehearsal studios. Rehearsal was great. We got up on our feet a little bit today, and it was so cool to have those first moments of realizing that this character had a way of standing and moving that was beginning to manifest. It took me by surprise, but a GREAT surprise–it’s reassuring to know that something’s happening. It may not be right just yet, but it’s a start. And considering that I’m terrified (I always am!) it’s good to know that things are taking shape–as they always do!

On another note, WIPE AWAY is my very first play where the playwright is involved! It’s been so cool working with Mark and seeing his brain go to work. It’s exciting to see the play morph and change and shorten and tighten. It sure keeps me on my toes! I feel like it’s pretty rare to get to work with a playwright so I’m soaking it in and am along for the crazy and fun ride!

I guess that’s all for now! Wanted to try this blogging thing out to see what it’s all about.

WIPE AWAY, the Samuel French Draft(s)

Hello friends,

So last night was our first* rehearsal with the new trimmed version of the script; WIPE AWAY has morphed into all sorts of lengths and configurations over the years (along with a barrage of titles) and this new version is a good 9-10 pages shorter than the one submitted to Samuel French. My concerns when rewriting are always about maintaining texture and character while getting to the point faster and more clearly than before. For this draft, I feel like I have about four spots in the play that still need a deeper emotional dive; thank goodness I have these actors and this director to help guide me towards them.

I LOVE hearing work read aloud, and Jessica and Thomas are already bringing the characters to life in a way that’s compelling and real; further rewrites will involve their voices and cadences and inflections: the way Thomas’ vowel sounds are stronger that most, for example. And the way Jessica’s laugh is already morphing into a dark siren call.

First week of rehearsal is always nerve-wracking and tense; I found today to be an awfully steep hill to climb. But we made some changes last night, the changes have been implemented and pdf-ed, and now off they go into the wilds of rehearsal. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with “on their feet.”