A Few Good Men: Beginnings and the Present
Even though opening night is only 2.5 weeks away (insert prolonged squee here), it feels like rehearsals have only just begun. One reason for this is my absence during the entire second week due to Sustainival, while we spent the first week doing something completely new to me: a table read. Together, we lumbered through the script, found emotional beats and discussed motivation, all while sitting around a table (du'h). It was an interesting experience hearing everyone's thoughts, and a learning opportunity for a rookie like me. Another discussion we had during our first rehearsal week was based on one of the first things Director Dave asked the cast: "why - why do this production now, here, in Fort McMurray in 2015?" Besides showing off astonishing 80's fashion? I have my thoughts on the matter, but I want to wait until we've wrapped up before sharing them - to give you time to answer that question yourself.
My most memorable moment of the process so far was a viewpoints workshop during the end of week 1. It explored different levels (or "viewpoints") of theater and acting. At the end of the day, when we were all getting pretty tired and sore, Director Dave asked us to line up side by side at one end of the rehearsal hall, and use our lizard brain to react to the other actors around us. During this exercise, I was mostly stationary. My body would do little jerks and micro-movements, telling me to react, to goddamnit woman, do something! My brain wouldn't let me. It thought about what movements I should be doing, how I could react if the person next to me did this-or-that. The little bastard kept planning ahead. At the time, I was hardly aware of it happening, but as I've thought about it later - this is something I do in almost all aspects of life. At improv, when writing, when interacting. I have it all mapped out, and when I'm thrown a curve ball it takes me a few seconds to regain my composure. When acting, it results in me not listening to what is happening in the scene. At improv, it usually results in me standing off to one side, jerking ever so slightly like a poorly handled puppet, my lizard brain wanting to join in on the fun, while the rest of it wants to take a few seconds to determine whether what I'm about to do is funny enough - and then the moment is gone.
Lucky for me and my poor repressed lizard brain, I'm surrounded by really talented people in both A Few Good Men and at improv. Just by paying attention to what they're doing and asking questions about how they do it, it feels like I'm learning a ton. I've learned that it's good to let go, to allow yourself to be actually present, not thinking "I'm in the present! That's where I am!". It's so hard, but those few fleeting moments when it happens? Magic. Pure, undiluted magic.
Want to experience some magic for yourself?
A Few Good Men opens on October 2, you can get yo' tickets by visiting their Box Office or by clicking here.