Lots o' words. I'm getting better on lines for our Act I (Shakespeare's Act I-III), but really, really rough on our Act II (Shakespeare's Act IV & V). Thanks god for Act V, where other people do the bulk of the talking. My problem is with the apparent non sequitors. This always happens to me in Shakespeare, or any play really where there isn't much stage direction or description given in the script. There are things going on, things the character is meant to be doing, and unless you know those things, you have no friggin' idea what your next line is.
Example - Act II, Scene 1 - First meeting between Petruchio and Kate, devolves into a big knockdown, drag-out fight (BTW, we're thinking of making a Taming of the Shrew drinking game. Every time I pick Kate up, or smack her on the ass, you take a drink. So far it's a recipe for death for anyone except maybe Al). At one point in the scene, in one of my innumerable monologues, I say "Thou dost not halt, O let me see thee walk," as I'm checking out Kate's ass.
It took us a little bit to get to the point where she was walking when I said that. If she's not walking, I'm not remembering the line. That's one of the more obvious ones, but Shakespeare's full of stuff like that. Act IV, Scene 1 is similar. It's the scene when Petruchio and Kate go to Petruchio's house on their wedding night. I have a lot of lines referencing things the servants are bringing in or doing, but so far we've had neither props nor servants, so those lines are giving me trouble. I'll get them down eventually, I'm just feeling a little pressure because we open in a touch under a month, and I feel like I'm really just starting week 2 of rehearsals, since I was off being lighting designer boy for two weeks and earning money for all my Vegasy travels.
I also hate feeling like I'm holding other people up, and right now it feels like a lot of other folks are a lot further along with memorization than I am. Again, all this shit will pass, and I come to this point in every rehearsal process, it's just a pain in the ass, and I'm still nervous about carrying a role this size, since I've never done it before.
Fun stuff from last night included beating the living shit out of the guy playing the tailor in our scene. Petruchio is supposed to hate the dress he's made, so I just whaled on him and chased him around the stage with a hideous yellow polyester dress. Fun stuff, especially since he was quick on the reactions and went with it. That's one thing with this cast, there's no attitude, everybody's willing to lay it out there and try new shit. That's what I like in a cast, whether I'm acting or directing, a willingness to lay it all out there. I look at performing a lot like folks look at athletic endeavors - you leave it all out there on the field. When I've done a good job in a show, I usually feel drained, like I'm gonna vomit a little. I've held nothing back if I'm really doing my job as an actor, and these guys are all willing to do the same. It makes for a good core group for the rebirth of this company, and I think we've got a lot of people that will be good to work with for a long time to come.
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