Rehearsal: An Actor's Blog, Second Day of Tech

From actor Marya Sea Kaminski, playing Rachel in My Name is Rachel Corrie.

A ten out of twelve tech today for MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE. That means we're all there from noon to midnight, with a big, strange two hour dinner break. Today was tougher than Sunday, the second day of school is never as romantic as the first. We are fastening the pieces into the puzzle, and then smoothing out the edges. Working transitions. Rather than listening to the sound, and seeing the lights, and hearing the words, it feels like we're experiencing the play. As a whole. As a sum greater than its parts. It is an exciting, exhausting time.

I got a little wobbly towards the end of the night. Stepped back from the edge of the raked stage after fleeting visions of tumbling into the first row. When I opened IN DISDRESS NOW: REDUX at Washington Ensemble Theatre in January, I slipped on an icy bit of sidewalk on the way home from the opening and broke my wrist. I feel a little less indestructible than I did last December. I'm going to try not to break, or even deeply bruise anything during the run of this show...

The exhaustion is welcome, though. It's instructive. Robyn Hunt, one of my incredible mentors and an unbelievable actor, always spoke of exhaustion with admiration. In the midst of our Suzuki training, it was only when we started to get tired that the work began. When you don't have the energy to put anything on top of your performance, or the will to add 'flare' or 'meaning' to a moment, is the time when the honest moment can actually emerge. That is where the art lives, Robyn would imply, on the other side of that threshold. It was good to teeter there tonight.

I'm excited to get an audience. And, admittedly, scared. While the work is definitely starting to settle into my bones, ninety minutes of lines is still alot to hold inside my head. Feels a bit like a house of cards right now, and the audience is going to bring another whole deck to the table. That's when the play is going to breathe, though. When I will find its rhythm, discover where the play wants to rest and where the text wants to run. I suspect the first couple of previews are going to be baptisms by fire. A long journey finally coming, crashing home.

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