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October 23, 2018:

LATE-NIGHT HORSE MANURE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much seething fish after a series of the most astonishing late-night horse manure – one thing after another.  I’m not going into detail because I wouldn’t really be nice about it, but let’s just say that after rehearsal three people came to me with sudden new conflicts that seriously impact my ability to get this show where it needs to be – one has to miss a run on Thursday, another has to miss the following Wednesday and perhaps one or two more run-throughs, and one wants to miss an entire weekend of shows, asking if we can get an understudy, which we cannot.  We’re still trying to cast the role that’s been vacant for a week now and may have finally found someone for that, and now we have all this other junk to deal with. Even the normally even-keeled Doug Haverty was going ballistic.  This is the bad part of doing 99-seat theater that only pays a stipend – commitment means nothing.  Well, I’m working for free and I am totally and completely committed and even was going to turn down the directing the revue job that pays because they wanted to do that during my rehearsal period – but because they wanted me they ultimately moved the date so I could do it.  I don’t think anyone actually takes into account how invasive this stuff is and how it impacts twenty other actors, the play, the writers, and the theater. So, we’re trying to figure out how to best deal with all of it – and depending on how that goes we may have to replace two other actors.  And then, as if things could get any worse, they did.  One of our Kritzerland performers got an emergency call from a theater to replace an actress and so she dropped out.  Again, that leaves me trying to find someone to do it and with less than a week to learn a huge amount of material.  I mean, I can’t even.  My head is about to explode.

So, whatever was good about yesterday has now long been forgotten due to all this crapola that came flying our way.  I did get almost eight hours of sleep, I answered e-mails and had telephonic conversations, and then went and had a Cobb salad and a bagel, then picked up packages, then came home.

A while later, we had a music rehearsal for the revue I’m directing – it was just to set keys, basically.  We had two of our cast of five – the marvelous Mary Gordon Murray, and our very own Robert Yacko.  It all went very quickly and smoothly and just hearing the material it’s very obvious that it’s really funny stuff.

After that, I moseyed on over to the theater for our rehearsal.  I ran a couple of things to get everyone warmed up, and we actually had our full cast save for the role that’s still vacant and one sick child.  Then we began what was our first run-through without stops, and also everyone’s first time off-book.  We actually got through it – two times people screwed up with a track and asked to start over again.  I’ve tried to explain that with the tracks there’s no stopping and going back – if you screw up you have to fix it – the track is the track and is inexorable.  There weren’t as many calls for lines as I thought there would be, so that was a plus.  The show ran ninety-seven minutes (it’s in one act), but when it’s paced properly and played at the proper energy it will run just under ninety minutes, which is exactly what I want and need it to run.  I gave some general notes after – just the major stuff, and there is definitely a couple of blocking things to clean up that was far too loose, but overall I was very pleased we got through it relatively unscathed, albeit with some low energy.

Then we got hit with the three performers, one after another, and I was at the theater for an extra hour, as was Doug.  Then we had to have long telephonic conversations about our options, which is why these here notes are going up so late, then I got the news about the Kritzerland performer pulling out.  I listened to the first bum Lyrita disc out of all that I have – not bum in terms of sound quality, but I just found the music completely uninteresting and I finally had to stop listening to it – a composer called Walter Leigh.  I’ll give it another go at some point.

Today, I’m sure we’ll be dealing with figuring out if we have a replacement actress and what we want to do with the two other performers who have presented us with stuff we shouldn’t really have to deal with at this point.  I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, then we have another music rehearsal with our other three performers.  Thankfully, we have the night off from rehearsals, although if we actually have our replacement actress I may see if we can come in and just show her her blocking if my assistant director is available.  Otherwise I’ll spend the evening relaxing – and we also have to find a replacement for the Kritzerland gal.

Tomorrow we’re back rehearsing and I think we may actually have our full company. Thursday Kay comes in to clean her stuff for an hour, but one of the three performers who had new conflicts won’t be with us on Thursday and since it’s a leading role there’s no way for us to run the show.  We should be able to do our designer run on Friday, and Saturday I will use all five hours of rehearsal and run the show twice, then once on Sunday, although this weekend is the set build day so we’re not in the theater but upstairs.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, deal with all that I must deal with, eat, hopefully pick up packages, have a music rehearsal, and then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What is your favorite instrument to listen to? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, not so happy with all the late-night horse manure.

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