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January 8, 2020:

THE DAY MY HEAD DIDN’T EXPLODE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I sometimes wonder if there is actually a time when my head will actually explode.  Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, I sometimes wonder if there is actually a time when my head will actually explode, like in that movie Scanners.  I wake up in the morning, knowing that I will not stop doing stuff once until midnight when I’m through writing these here notes, and even then, I will continue writing for the new book.  Such was my day yesterday.  Here’s how it all went and the reason my head did not explode was because the day was surprisingly fun.

I got up just a bit later than I’d planned, but I thought I should get all eight hours of sleep.  Once up, I futzed and finessed a bit, but had to get ready for the little Elmer Bernstein concert rehearsal with the musical director, the producer, and our very own Robert Yacko.  We began with the humongous and long opening number, which I instantly took three minutes out of.  For me, the cuts were very obvious and it’s much more reasonable now.  Then Robert sang through all his numbers and I made arrangement changes as we went along.  The MD is really good, very quick and very responsive.  But the rehearsal took longer than I thought it would, so the second it was over, I went to the mail place, picked up one package, got three of those tiny slider things at Subway, came home and ate them.  They’re very calorie friendly and I thought they were very tasty.

Then I went right to the book and spent the rest of the day writing.  By the time I go to bed tonight, I’ll be past page 300 of the manuscript, which is pretty good, I’d say, for six days.  Then I had to shave and shower and be on my way to the theater.

I was actually dreading rehearsal because I always dread the first rehearsal of anything.  I arrive feeling like I’ve never directed a damn thing before, even though I’m just coming off a hit production of an unwieldy and hugely “directed” show with twenty-five people.  Thankfully, this is a real old-fashioned talking play and has only six people in it, with most scenes having only two.  So, blocking is simpler than usual.  So, I just dove in with scene one.  There are decisions to make every step of the way because while the first obligation always is to honor the text, there are different ways to interpret things and this particular piece is filled with those moments.  Doug, of course, only sees it his way, which is only natural, but I’m new eyes on this play and I sometimes want to think outside the box.  So, I’m going with my gut feelings but have alternate ways just in case.

The cast is wonderful and easy as pie to work with.  I wasn’t really concerned with the acting, just mushing forward with the staging, but I gave little things all along, and we found some really lovely stuff, blocking-wise, and I’m making sure that there’s plenty of gentle humor in the play, because that is what makes everything work better.  So, I got forty-six pages of a ninety-three-page script done.

I stopped at Gelson’s on the way home and got some salad from the salad bar, since I’d barely had 500 calories, some bagels, and came right home, ate it, whilst doing a blurb for the Kritzerland show, which is now all set save for one song choice.  I actually had the song chosen, but it’s super complicated to play and since I haven’t worked with this musical director before, I don’t want to burden him with something that difficult.  So, I’ll choose the final song today at some point and then it’s all set.  Then I wrote about ten pages and that was that.

Today, I’ll be up by eleven at the latest, I’ll futz and finesse, I got out of that podcast thing, so I’ll just write all day, with a trip to the post office and for some food.  Then we have our three-hour evening rehearsal, which I’m now looking forward to.

Tomorrow, I can write all day, then we have a rehearsal in the evening.  I have to split my time between it and putting in our new Miss Preen.  So, I think I’ll have our play cast just run their scenes until I’m up there to block new stuff.  By that time, I should be well into act two, which I’ll definitely finish on Saturday.  Friday, we have another concert rehearsal here, and then we resume The Man Who Came to Dinner, our final weekend.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, futz and finesse, write, print out all the pages thus far and get them to Muse Margaret, eat, write, rehearse, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have escaped the exploding head.

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