Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Oliver Chronicles: Installment Seven - Hell-week's a-comin'...

Well, yesterday was our last official "rehearsing" rehearsal. Since hell-week starts Monday, all of our rehearsals will be to run the show with tech stuff, meaning we really can't stop to fix things like blocking/lines/music/whatever, because we will already be stopping over and over to fix things like lighting/sound effects/props/whatever. So, in short, hell-week is going to literally be a week from hell.

However, our last rehearsal gave me a little bit of hope. I know on Monday HDT basically told us we sucked. However, he clarified on Tuesday that he still believed we could pull it off with a LOT of hard work. Then, Tuesday's rehearsal was marginally better than Monday's and then Wednesday's rehearsal was a lot better than Tuesday's. HDT said he definitely saw a huge turn-around in our commitment and energy, etc. and he actually gave us props for that. Yay! Props rock! (And by props, I mean compliments, not objects on stage. Although they rock too...)

So then on Friday, he gave us our notes, which is a good sign. Generally he doesn't start giving notes (which are basically comments and criticisms and suggestions for improvement) until the point when we can actually get through a run in a decent amount of time. Also, he waits to give notes until there are only finishing touches that need to be fixed, because other wise our notes would just be a gigantic waste of a rainforest. The official reading of notes is actually somewhat hilarious, because while he watches the run, instead of writing the notes himself, he tells the assistant to the director to write down an abbriviated version of the notes. Then, when he reads them aloud to the cast and is giving us directions like "Bumble-Do you have to pee?" or "Nancy-Don't be a velociraptor," it's up to us to translate that into "Mr. Bumble keeps shifting his weight and needs to stand still" or "Nancy is doing something weird with her hands that makes her look like a velociraptor." One of my favorite notes of the night was given to me: "Corney-Angle. Put box next to her. Stand." I'm still not quite sure what it means, but I'm taking a wild guess and saying it's a problem with the way I am standing during one of the scenes and I need to do something to fix it so I'm not blocking one of the other actresses. Or it could mean I'm being a velociraptor. There's no way to know.

Then, Friday's rehearsal was also a pretty big improvement. However, we didn't manage to get through a whole run in three hours (which we did do on Wednesday.) This was due partially to the fact that we had notes at the beginning and partially because in the middle of the show, there was a scene that literally everyone forgot the blocking for and it had to be re-blocked. I have to say, blocking scenes a week before opening night is a very bad sign...

Then, at the end of rehearsal, HDT's final opinion was that we deserved props for the huge improvement, but we still have a long way to go before he actually starts inviting people to come see the show. However, considering how previous shows have gone, I really think we can pull it together just fine. "Cabaret," "Footloose" and "Les Miserables" all went through the same thing and didn't come together until the final dress rehearsal. And they were A-FREAKIN'-MAZING shows! So, There is hope for us.

I think. And hope.

Wish us broken legs! (Because I probably won't have time to blog again until after the show's over...)