Invading the Space

Early rehearsals are strange beasts. No one is familiar with the text, people haven’t quite found their characters, and everyone is still feeling their way cautiously about the space.

Space is a greater issue than usual, as Hurjaruuth is a new theatre for us and we weren’t able to rehearse there. At least we were able to pop in for a quick shufty, even though it was set up for another production.

 

One small step for Anna... one giant WTF for mankind.

It’s a pity we can’t rehearse at the theatre. On the other hand, getting into the real space always boosts a plateaued play to new levels.

You’d think it would be difficult to move into a completely new space, but it’s actually surprisingly easy – once you get your set in place.

Setting the waypoints.

For months, we’ve been practicing moving between a number of fixed points – the tables, the boxes, the screen, and the bench. Once they’re in place, we simply continue to move between those fixed points. What surrounds them doesn’t matter.


This is the week....

Hello.

Tomorrow marks the opening night of FELT IF 2012.  It is going to be great.  I write short sentences to get into character.  It will make sense as long as you come to see the plays. I am in The Bench. By Beth Morton. With Haylie and David. It is great :) I am trying to talk as little as possible.

Yesterday I helped build the stage. I like set building. I had to improvise, using a curtain weight as a hammer. Great stuff.  I was being an artist... ;)

However, on a serious note soon I am heading off to dress rehearsal and getting a little nervous.  It will all be fine, Beth has written a great play and as with the previous play she directed, I have enjoyed working with her.  And my co-stars, Haylie and David are fantastic to work with and we are quite an efficient bunch!

I hope everyone comes to see the FELT IF 2012 plays.  A lot of hard work has gone into the plays and just counting the hours of work put in last night by so many people, we are all making a huge effort to make this a great festival!

See you soon. At the theatre. Be there!


The Facial Hair Monologue

Tackling fake facial hair on stage is a bit of a challenge, as we - the cast of "NOT The Vagina Monologues" - have found. You do tend to sweat quite a bit when you're on stage. Attaching moustaches and beards with glue, on stage, in the middle of a performance, is an unnerving, sticky and slippery task.

So what I do is try to remain relaxed, keep track of cues and lines, and just get the thing on, no matter how crooked. And then, when it's time to remove the mo', just get it off and keep rubbing away at the gooey residue of glue that sticks around the mouth. It seems there's more and more of it every time we rehearse. What a hassle!

But wearing a 'stache is surprisingly empowering, too. Something changes in me when I put it on. Maybe it's just the thrill of having hair "in all the right places"? I don't know.

Do come and catch us sporting impressive fakes! It's time for our last line-run before the dress rehearsal (that's tomorrow)!

I "moustache"!


Hold on to your hat, pens, keys and bottles!

Early rehearsals are strange beasts. No one is familiar with the text, people haven’t quite sussed out their characters, and everyone is still feeling their way cautiously around the space.

But there are certain points when the stage adrenalin kicks in and the play comes to life, such as the first rehearsal in full costume and, in particular, the first rehearsal in front of an audience.

Stage adrenalin can, however, have unfortunate side effects. Some actors find it impossible to eat or drink anything on stage, while others gulp down their oddly Ribena-flavoured wine with abandon.

Sometimes small objects will no longer do as they’re told. In the last few rehearsals, I’ve sent a pen and a water bottle bouncing merrily across stage. And Anna managed to toss the key to her handcuffs into the (imaginary) audience.

When this happens, your only course of action is to try to retrieve the said object, in character, before it is next required. This being more challenging if your hands are cuffed under your knee…

Beware of these recalcitrant props!


On the bench....

The other day while riding the M train to my Finnish course, I was mentally going over my lines for "The Bench". We actors call this a "line run". I became so absorbed in my character, Dave, that I went straight through Pasila and found myself at the central railway station. Fortunately, my trusty phone found an alternate route to the course and I arrived more or less on time.

"The Bench" reveals that everything is not always as it first appears and may encourage you to reflect on, and perhaps laugh at, your own assumptions about the way things are. By buying a ticket to "The Bench", you will learn from Rosa some techniques for making small talk during those awkward silent moments. And Dermot will reveal some surprising secrets about what is hidden beneath his unkempt exterior. While Dave, a wannabe rock star, will give you some thought provoking insights on the art of internet dating.

I've seen rehearsals for most of the plays to be presented at FELT IF 2012 and can assure you that, if you buy a ticket, you're in for some top notch theatrical performances. "The Bench" and all other plays will be performed at Kaapelitehdas from November 20-26 and are all less than one hour in length. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see quality entertainment for the price of a movie ticket.


It is a great feeling when everyone remembers their lines....

Yesterday, the cast of "The Bench" had one of our best rehearsals so far! It was the moment where we all hopefully realized that "wow, we can do this" and the shows are going to be great....ok, so maybe it was just me. You see, I happen to have lots of lines in this play and normally it is an absolutely amazing thing to have a lot of lines, its just that a lot of lines also requires more time to actually memorize them.

So yesterday marked my first rehearsal, where I went through one entire run without calling "line" (meaning someone didn't have to tell me what my line was). And this was a grand occasion as now obviously, I will do justice towards the greatly written play and to the wonderful audience that will come see us perform! And just so you know, we are working with a tight schedule, so do give us some credit on doing so well! On the other hand, if I do happen to forget a few lines, you can come see me try to make something interesting up.....just kidding....I think our Director Beth Morton will now kill me.....or maybe she will just wait until the last performance is over.......

I can't wait for Opening Night and being able to showcase our cute and funny play, filled with moments of Rosa's chatter (that will be me then), Dermot's eye-rolls (that will be Niko) and Dave's interesting moves (that will be David).....so come join us on The Bench!

 


Pimp My Costume.........

So, opening night is fast approaching and it's about this time that my eyes start to hone in on the finer details of....well.......just about everything really. I have a tendency to say "That's it!" after giving notes to the cast after a run, whether there is one page or four,   and I'm sure for this they'd like to bash me over the head with their scripts in a "She's got to be kidding me" kind of manner. They don't of course.......at least not yet anyway. So it's nice to think about other sorts of details for a change.

Aside from the normal 'director stuff' like lines, character, dialogue, pace, tone, actions, reactions, there's a whole host of other elements to pay attention to which are starting to take shape in rehearsals as we do our costume runs. So costumes have been the bee in my bonnet today and I've spent this afternoon gathering some finishing touches to one costume in particular. As if this wasn't enough, I went all MTV American reality- decoration show and decided that one item needed to be 'pimped'. I don't think Pimp My Costume will take off on MTV but if you buy a FELT IF ticket you'll find out who's costume item has the honour of sporting this far out, totally cool, piece of kit..........