Opening night tonight… only a few hours away. I had planned on doing something productive today, like catching up on work or my studies. Instead I’ve been wandering around my place all morning, restless, not really doing anything useful at all.
The last few weeks have been a buzz of constant activity. A mix of emotions, experiences, ups and downs (more ups luckily), friendships, more than friendships, discoveries, insights and craziness, that, had you told me this would happen at the beginning I would have called you mad and hit you over the head with a fish.
For me this experience started out as a spur-of-the-moment-decision, when I decided to join the Panoptikum theater group after Mareike told me she was going there. I just thought it might be a good idea to do some acting again, in a work-life-balance sort of way. Not one moment had I thought that this project would turn into something this huge, that it would consume my every waking hour (and most of my sleeping ones for that matter).
And now with opening night just hours away, I have some time to reflect on the project, the past weeks and the rehearsal process.
I think there have been two major challenges for me. One was definitely having two directors for our plays, especially since their way of directing differs so much. Nora’s style of directing suites my way of working perfectly. When rehearsing a scene I like to take it apart, step-by-step and work on each component in detail. I like the director to tell me what he wants me to do and then I will try to ‘act accordingly’. I feel Nora and I complement each other in that way.
Cory’s way of directing is very different to that. With Cory we would do much more run-throughs of scenes than work on the details. The entire feel it/ live it concept of acting was very new to me. I discovered that I don’t really have a distinctive background image of the characters I play, but just what is needed to understand the actions in a particular scene. Cory would ask me repeatedly what my “want” in a specific scene was and most of the time I had no idea at all. So where Nora and mine style would complement each other, working with Cory, it tended to be more of a struggle. But a productive struggle at that, even though it I’m sure it cost Cory some nerves, working with her really helped me to get a better understanding and feeling for my role.
The second challenge for me during this production was to just…shut up! I have come to acting through making and directing films. So when I’m part of a play I always have my own vision of it in my head. A clear idea of how things should be and it’s very hard for me not to look at a scene as the director but just as the actor. So I end up constantly voicing my opinion and presenting possibilities of doing this or that. While at times this can be rather fruitful, it can also be very counterproductive at other times. So one of the things this project has taught me, is that sometimes it’s best to just shut up and trust the directors to do a good job (which they definitely did). 😉 I can deliver a better performance if I concentrate on my character and do not concern myself with blocking-, light-, tech-, prop-problems etc.
So instead of doing something productive on this free afternoon, I find myself counting the minutes until we meet at the Abraxas. I can’t wait to see everyone again and to get this show on the road. I hope – no, I know our efforts will pay of tonight; we will give our best and blow the audience away!!!