Rehearsal: An Actor's Blog

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From actor Sarah Rudinoff, playing Minka Lupino in Murderers.

I am really excited to be starting rehearsal again. I haven't been in a play since I closed Wonderful Town at the 5th Ave. in May of 05. I took over a year off to get my real estate business off the ground and consistent, and after a lifetime of rehearsal clothes and Mondays off and vocal rest, I was driving around in my car and talking to people in escrow offices and holding the hands of clients and friends as they made this insane purchase or sale...now I am back to the rehearsal room and it certainly feels like the first days of school.

I have done solo shows before and the rehearsal process can be really daunting: no one to really bounce thoughts off of or shoot the shit with except for the director. Lines become not funny at about day 2 or 3...we are already there! You have this relationship with the director that is unlike a big old play with lots of people running around, they are the only ones you are performing to and for, then you realize- why am I performing? Just tell the story. It is a good reminder.

I remember my first solo show, written after I was already booked to tour it with Theater Simple to the Adelaide Festival in Australia, Broad Perspective (a title I had to come up with before I wrote the show...and soon hated...well actually I came up with Broad which I thought was a clever way of saying I was a woman while opening up the possibilities that the show could be about anything and since I hadn't written it yet, I wanted to give myself a long enough rope...) This title was nixed for being, well, too broad. I chose as my director someone who I worshiped but did not know very well- another interesting choice when I look back at it. Kevin Kent was about the smartest most unexpected performer I had seen and I knew he directed shows. So my early 20's self asked him for coffee, proposed the show and off we went. The first days of rehearsal were horrifying- I was a new writer- is he liking my work? Does he think this is funny? Also I was a new solo performer- was he supposed to laugh? Am I interesting enough to be watched and listened to for over an HOUR?! All in the basement of that building downtown by the market that used to house a movie theatre and a theatre space.

All of these thoughts were making me giggle at my younger self as I sat with a director I didn't know, the lovely Steven Dietz, (who is directing Murderers,) and began a process of unearthing a monologue. I must say that doing someone else's 17-page monologue, which I have never done before, is a lot better in some ways- none of the "why did I write that!?" If something is not working I think my mind can take a load off assured that it couldn't possibly be me.

I love the REP and am reminded what a good and gentle soul David Esbjornson is, and it is already a blast getting to be in an intimate cast, but having the enormous cast of Twelfe Night in the green room with us- including one of my nearest and dearest Nick Garrison who has directed me in solo shows, so I think I may be going to that well when I am in the tearing my hair out and why did I become an actor phase. Oh the angst.....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I notice your blog does not get m/any comments.

Is there an active theatre blog in Seattle that has discussion?

TT said...

Wow! Most enjoyable to read you memories, associations and insights. Thanks for taking the time to share all this - it seems incredibly personal and an investment in the unknown and a bunch of strangers, but perhaps blogging is not unlike acting then. I must say this entry has hooked me and I will come back looking for new entries.

Seattle Repertory Theatre said...

In response to the first comment, Theatre Puget Sound (TPS) has a pretty active online forum on their website, http://tpsonline.org. Beyond that, there are a handful of Seattle theatre blogs, but none that seem to be generating a lot of discussion.

chadmany2k said...

Thanks for this post! I know you're in seattle, but if you want to be flown out to LA, there's a cool contest going on Showbizzle. Just passing it along to a fellow actor!

love,
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