Tonight we finished what is exactly the half way point of rehearsals before we hit tech. Two weeks of discovering so much, and two more weeks of what I am sure will be twice as much discovery.
Personally as an actor, the first rehearsals are about keeping up as each rehearsal we dive into a new scene. I am usually not far from my script at most hours of the day trying to soak up the language so I can use it in rehearsals instead of getting tripped up by it. There are rehearsals that this outside work pays off. I walk in with confidence that I know my lines and I have a grasp on what the scene is about, and I feel free to let myself go and play. Then there are the rehearsals at which I have no idea what I am doing in the scene, or I do but I have no idea how to begin to convey those things, and although I can verbally vomit the text out while driving in my car alone, faced with having to walk and talk at the same time everything seems to fly out the window. At these rehearsals (thankfully there is usually only one or two of this extreme during a process) progress is made, but in comparison with those playful rehearsals it leaves me running home to pace my apartment with script in hand to hammer things out in my head for another couple of hours.
Now we have reached my favorite part of the process. Fourteen days in and we’ve touched on most of the scenes and have started revisiting many of them. I am no longer trying to keep up. I’m not going home from a rehearsal and having to put discoveries on the back burner while I look ahead to what new scene we are delving into the next rehearsal. It’s all playing and building from this point. This doesn’t mean the work is over. I don’t feel like the work ends even after the last word is spoken on closing night. I still go home thinking about scenes for weeks after, but now there is a solid foundation under me so my work shifts to more of a state of play. And I love that.