We are about halfway into our rehearsal process for the Shakespeare plays. It’s pretty much what I expected to be at this point. I’m feeling a little schizo. Don’t get me wrong, I love the challenge but my days often look more like a farce than a Shakespearean tragedy. I am cast in both Lear and Caesar and between them have five parts. Actually six now that they have added a non speaking walk on in the last scene of Caesar for me. There’s a lot of running between rehearsal rooms and always asking, ‘Where are we? What scene?’ We have also been dabbling in different accents for the characters which are also amusing. I can’t wait to add the costume changes! Overall, I feel we are where we should be for this stage of the game. We are starting to rehearse ‘off book’, meaning memorized without the script in hand. And sometimes we have to struggle for a line which takes us out of the scene and then we get irritated at ourselves for losing it and not keeping the momentum going. And we are still asking things like ‘What am I saying here? How do I do this? What do I want? What’s my motivation?!’ This is very typical for us actor types at this point in the process. We can be a bit bi-polar, because just after a whine fest, we will do the scene again, nail it and be convinced the Academy will be calling us shortly regarding our Oscar nomination. Acting is not for those who want a stable career and want to be surrounded by stable people. But I personally wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. At least not right this second. I have no doubt all these labor pains will result in a successful murdering of Caesar and fabulous death of Lear.
This week I am to continue my work on my career development plan. As a requirement for our course we all have to come up with a post-graduation plan for ourselves. This is a bit of a challenge because so much of an actor’s career is dependent on other people hiring them. Or is it? I think that’s kinda of the point of this exercise. It is very easy for the actor to be passive about their career. We go to auditions and submit ourselves to agents and wait by the phone. Well, that ain’t gonna yield much fruit. Of course you have to do those things because they are legitimate avenues but we also must network and meet people in the industry. And what’s stopping us from getting together with other actors, writers and directors and creating our own work? And we should never stop working on our craft. It’s important for actors to continue to take classes or at least work on their skills at home so we can stay in shape and improve our weaknesses for when Steven Spielberg does call. So writing a business plan for Actor Inc. will help us to really focus on targets and strategize a plan of action for how to achieve them. We have got plenty to do while we are waiting for that phone to ring.
This past weekend I attempted to recover from the last weeks of crazy. After running all over Glasgow and Edinburgh with Karin last weekend and an intense week of rehearsing and summative statement writing, I was pretty dead on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I did manage to bound out of bed and make the 10:30am showing of X-men Origins: Wolverine. I am a fan of the comic book movies and of Hugh Jackman; how can you not be a fan of the incredibly versatile and talented Hugh Jackman and he’s not too hard on the eyes either. Later, all the Americans got together in my floor’s kitchen for a homemade pizza party. I’ve been counting the calories of late in preparation for some of the costumes they are aiming for in Caesar but, that all went out the window when the homemade pizza came out of the oven. The boys made the dough from scratch. How can you say 'no' to that? Then everyone wanted to go see Wolverine so I tagged along for round two. Hugh Jackman; you don’t say 'no' to that either. Sunday involved a lot of sleeping and a Lear line through with my cast mates. This morning I have some time off and then back to the Rome this afternoon.
Tune in next week to see where we are in the destruction of Rome and Lear’s mind.