Monday, 15 November 2010

Every day oughta be a bad day for you

Today was bad.

First off, I'm getting ill. My throat is hurting and by mid-afternoon i was feeling light-headed. I slept through my alarm and didn't get out of bed till about noon, which is awful because this is one of the busiest and most stressful weeks of my university career. I have part of a dissertation due in, as well as my budget and health and safety for the play, and my producer is away so i have to do it all myself. Bah.

From 3 till 5 we rehearsed act 2, slotting James in to the blocking we've already worked out. The cast have known for a month that today was their deadline for knowing their lines, but since it was the first run without scripts i was expecting it to be a bit shaky. It started well, and it's remarkable the difference there is to the dynamic between two people just by removing a piece of paper. As the scene progressed the lines got worse, but not awful. All in all i was pleased, and it put me in a good mood for this evening's rehearsal. I headed to the library for 2 hours of essay prep while my cast had a break.

At 7 I headed back to the rehearsal room to do acts 3 and 4. The second half of the play is trickier than the first, and again i was expecting it to be slow going without scripts, but my expectations had been raised by the performance earlier in the day.

It was awful. Act 3, as I have said, has almost everyone on stage, and it seems that when their scripts were taken away, their spatial awareness or blocking was taken with it. Certain cast members seem to have put absolutely no effort into their lines whatsoever, which meant that people who had learned their lines were messing up because the cues were wrong. After about half an hour of futile mumbling I was absolutely livid, and told my cast as much. It seems like I'm having to tell them off at every rehearsal.

We decided to forget about the staging and do a line run, since their lines were supposed to be learned. The way that i saw it there was no point in trying to act if the lines weren't there, and i can't seem to trust them to learn them in their own time. It was slow and demeaning, and I'm sure some of the cast hate me right now because i made it very clear just how little effort they had put in, and how much more was required of them, but to be honest, i don't really care if they do. I'm tired of being nice and getting it thrown back in my face. Maybe a little humiliation will kick them into action, since kindness, pleading and yelling hasn't. I'm running out of ideas.

So I came home on a bus full of drunken freshers singing wartime counting songs (12 German bombers in the air, etc.) ridiculously loudly, my voice all but vanished, all my energy gone, in a truly rotten mood. All i can think of is this:

"Far beyond the moon and stars,
Twenty light-years south of Mars,
Spins the gentle Bunny Planet,
And the Bunny Queen is Janet."

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