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.....