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November 16, 2019:

OFF BOOK

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had us a run-through last night.  Unfortunately, we were missing one actor due to crossed wires, but we covered said actor and it’s probably the smallest role in the show.  We did manage to get through all three acts by running past our three hours by twenty minutes, but there were also two ten-minute breaks and we didn’t really start until 7:20.  But most importantly, it was the first time everyone was without their scripts.  So, obviously it was a lot of calling for lines, which is normal for this point in our rehearsals and simply something that has to occur.  I’ve been doing theater since I was fourteen and the rehearsals that were first time off book have always been like this.  Fortunately, we have two actors playing the role of the daughter, June, and so one did the run-through (they take turns and are splitting the run) and one sat with me, took notes, and called out the lines in a calm, clear voice, which was so helpful.  My assistant director, who would normally do that, had her four wisdom teeth out yesterday – I, too, had all four wisdom teeth out at once and I can tell you how pleasant THAT was.  Anyway, we got through the rehearsal and that was the important part.  And starting this morning, I begin tightening everything from blocking to performances and line readings.  I went through exactly this same thing doing Dial “M” for Murder at the Group Rep – because that show was also dialogue heavy and I had a lot of blocking ography in it.  It really takes time and patience to get all that right.  I, of course, have no patience, but that’s another story.  I also got another Banjo to do our final week.  I really didn’t want to do it – I’ve played it twice and the thought of learning lines was just not something I was looking forward to.  So, we got Nick Santa Maria, who’s terrific and very funny – it’s a bucket list role for him and I’m sure he’ll do a great job.  Oh, and we finally have the wheelchair for Whiteside that he’ll use during the run, and it’s much easier for our actor.

Prior to that, I’d gotten almost eight hours of sleep.  Once up, I answered e-mails and stuff, then the helper came by, brought me a new box of Creature DVDs and I signed an addition twelve DVD covers, and off she went and those will ship this weekend to all the Indiegogo folks.  The ones ordered on the site already went out.  Then I went and picked up some packages, got a Subway Club for food, came home, ate it all up, and listened to music for a while.  I also checked out the actual Creature DVD – interestingly, my check disc would not play the released version of the film – it would begin but then go back to the menu after about five seconds.  They told me it was just that the Oppo players have trouble with burned media.  But the pressed disc does the same thing on the Oppo.  It’s all fine on the computer player, and the authoring fellows told me they’d checked it on a bunch of different players, and it worked fine, so hopefully that’s the case.  Everything else works as it should, of course.  It’s a weird problem.  Then it was time to shave and shower, which I did, and then I moseyed on over to the theater for rehearsal.

After rehearsal, I stopped at Gelson’s due to hunger, got a small cube steak, came home, cooked it and ate it all up, whilst catching up on e-mails and listening to music.  Now, I’m full.  I can’t stay up too late because I must be up by eight-thirty at the latest, maybe even by eight, so I’ll try to be in bed by one or so – we’ll see how that goes.

Today, we begin at ten.  I haven’t decided what we’ll be doing yet – I’ll see how I feel.  I do have to give the notes I took and clean up a couple of blocking things that people are consistently doing wrong, and then I’m sure we’ll run again and there’ll probably be a good deal of line-calling.  But I know the more they run it, the more they’ll begin to correlate the lines to the blocking, which I always found very helpful.  When we finish running, then we’ll work on problem areas and drill them until they’re no longer problem areas.  We wrap out at three.  Then Barry and his ever-lovin’ Cindy and I and maybe a couple of others are going to go have a nice meal in a nice restaurant because, why not?  I’ve eaten way too much crap this week.  Then, when I get home, I shall dive into my little pile of DGA screeners – Rocketman, the new Almodovar film, and Honey Boy.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, although I won’t eat out afterwards.  Monday is our day off and I will need it, let me tell you THAT.  Then on Tuesday we’re back for another six days of rehearsal and it is those six days in which we will all get on the same page, play the same show, and find the pace and rhythm and lock it all in so that it’s consistent.  Consistency is EVERYTHING to me.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a run-through, work through problem areas, have a nice meal, and then relax and watch a screener or two, and hopefully pick up some packages on the way home.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite movies of 2019 thus far?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that everyone did the rehearsal off book.

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