oh, to be an unsuspecting child, drawing colorful pictures while time ticks quickly by. children slow down time. actors, too, can slow down time. to act is to get a second chance at childhood. a chance to play, a chance to grow again, painting living pictures as time (for a moment) stands still. we live that same moment over and over again. in truth, we realize we cannot perfect a moment through repetition. this gives me hope. comfort. security. trust in myself and my myriad emotions. my imperfections. my ability to play (one i pledge to never lose).
i am sam. and i am in love. with love. and with Mel.
Week #1: Acapulco (aka the TGIFriday's of Mexican food). This place was a little loud and rediculous. They asked if they could take our picture for their newsletter or something, and sadly we said no, otherwise I'd have that to share.
Week #2: Mexico City ... how can you go wrong with a place like this?! I had a gordita! I thought those were only at Taco Bell! (ps: it was amazing)
Week #3: El Conquistador. This is one of my favorite places in Silver Lake. We were able to take up the entire front room, and even stirred up some publicity as people leaving would stop and look at Logan's beautiful set model seated next to us.
Week #4: (we took this week off due to the video shoot)
Week #5: Tomorrow, we're meeting at Casita del Campo - which I've never been to before, but I have some very high expectations!
Follow along as we visit 5 more fabulous Silver Lake restaurants! Suggestions welcome!!
We finished the first of many video shoots this week! It was a very smooth couple of days thanks to the incredible talent and efforts of our production team, designers and our fantastic cast. Thank you to all.
We know that we are not the first theatre company to try to integrate video into a production, and we also know it comes with peril. 'Peril, you say?' Yes I do. All too often the use of video in theatre is poorly integrated and alientates the audience from the real experience of art in the present tense. Theatre is unique because at it's heart it is uncontrolled, unedited, and exposed. Cinema is not the same, and it is not a substitute or a natural partner to stage action.
Our goal with the use of video has been to smoothly integrate it with the live action in such a way that it becomes indispensible. We hope to use it further enlighten the psychological and narrative life of our characters, not to replace theatre, but to add dimension and scope to a living work. Jenny likes to refer to each recorded piece as a 'vista' or a view into an otherwise unseen element of our play. Since our plot is tied to life in a world of media and technology, and how romance and personal development are channeled and restricted by a network of others, we hope to integrate video as a living, breathing, theatrical device that seemlessly helps us tell this story.
This shoot was a big step along the way! The footage looks amazing and I can't wait to cue the first video for opening night and see how all this pans out. No pun intended.
I always believed that deciphering the intention of a playwright using dialogue alone is like a human only experiencing life through one of her senses. Imagine trying to describe the experience of being at the Grand Canyon to a group of people, having only seen a picture and never been to the Grand Canyon. You'd be trying first to figure out what it was like to be at the Grand Canyon, then trying to describe the experience to others. This experience has been different. We have been able to fully experience the Grand Canyon, and bring that experience into the rehearsal process. We know the intentions behind the lines because we wrote them. This also means that the lines aren't written in stone. It is freeing not feeling handcuffed to a line that isn't working, or if it isn't what we're trying to say. It's comforting to know that the product of this process is the story we want to tell, and the time we would normally spend trying to figure out what the playwright is saying, we spend perfecting the words and actions in the story.
i've noticed a peculiar tension in my body. It all starts in my groin, but don't be confused. the urge is not sexual. at least not at first. but this urge radiates out from my groin into all the parts of my body, in euphoric waves. but I am not on drugs. the four on the floor bass drum pulses through my outer environment and into my body, fueling this pulsating urge to move. it starts in my groin and ripples outward in a funky rhythm. i see the colorful patterns the music makes, I feel the earth shake with the bass. my heartrate quickens, as something is happening. i'm not sure how, but I am indeed transforming, and now i wonder what new form of being is this that I have achieved...
today was great. i forgot how much i like doing this. ive been doing solely comedy for the past few years that getting my head back wrapped around this is enjoyable.its all about the text. use it. figure it out. and asking questions. i remember mark from emerson saying 'your integrity as an artist depends soley upon your ability to ask questions'. thats always helped me. also, 'acting isnt about emotion, its about behavior'. yup, that right there is pretty much my entire approach. use it and you owe me $.
I'm sick. Very sick. I can barley use my voice and because of the cloud that is forming inside of my head, my thoughts jump rather quickly from the present to the past, to what i am going to eat for lunch. I think that is sort of accurate. i think mel is in a bit of haze, jumping from her present to her past, back to wether she should have just one more dirty martini. She's getting older. everyone can see it. he loves her. she loves him. fuck that bitch who butted into my relationship earlier. why can't i jsut be sweet? why wasn't i just born sweet? one of those people that everyone talks about when you leave in a good way? like him. like dante. everyone loves dante. always has. magnetic. perfect personality. effortless. i hate him. i have to try so hard, and then trying only hurts me. but man did HE love me. that made me feel good. a man that everyone loved so much loved me. thought the world of me. but i couldn't take it. good at everything, always flyign high. im not like that. i have dark places. and i get lost in their caves. and i got mad at him for not having them. elise. shes gorgoeous. she looks ten years yonger than me. shes happy. constantly happy. fearless. careless. god it's cold in here. my feet hurt. i want another drink. i want a cigarette. who is this guy in the glasses losing it right in front of me? are there drugs at this party? i want some. god my feet hurt. suck it up. the shoes'll stop hurting after just one more martini. where is sam. sweat sam. my lovely sam. he'll leave me too, sooner or later, and onyl then will i realize what i lost. man, i'm pretty drunk. i want a cigarrette.
Last night was my favorite rehearsal so far. As stage manager, I've attended them all and kept mostly quiet as is my job description, but as the primary writer on the script and a member of the ensemble I feel like a part of the journey just as much as Jenny and the cast. For me, Tuesday night was the first time I really saw the actors breaking into the hard psychological issues of their characters and asking the tough questions they'll need answered in order to play their roles.
It's no coincidence these questions came up at this rehearsal. We had some pretty intense scenes on the docket - James' collapse, Danny's explosion, and Emily's conversation with God are all pivotal moments near the end of the play. But for the first time I heard actors asking questions about the truths that bely their actions. Not just the easy ones, either, where the actor fishes for the easy out, but important details about previous events and relationships that color the action on stage.
For a process like this, where the actors are so involved in the playwrighting, it's easy for the artist to think they already know everything about his/her character. But no matter how a play is written or conceived, and no matter how much of an expert the actor is on the given script, the process of asking questions, exploring action, making mistakes, becoming frustrated, asking more questions, making more mistakes, and learning every action and intention by heart by heart by heart is why the theatre is more alive than any art form next to music. That process cannot be bypassed, it cannot be disregarded in any way. Any actor or director who think they can just skip on by the hard stuff is bound to be met with failure. Any actor or director who takes the time to do it right will always find success in some form or another.
Process process process process process process process.
I'm glad to see it coming along. I'm trying to keep my mouth shut, I swear. I don't know what the fuck I'm gunna do. Perhaps I'll do a little dancing!
I figured once we had our script in order, the rehearsal process for this play would morph into the typical rehearsal routines. That has not been the case so far. We are still playing with the script, not specifically the lines so much as the blocking and characters. It feels more like rehearsal for a film -- we are defining what these characters would and not do. As a group and individually, we are constantly making discoveries about how the action of this story unfolds, scene by scene. It is a very exciting and refreshing process. I feel very engaged in this rehearsal process, and that I have more creative responsibilities in this production than just 'actor,' even now. It is an empowering position that I share with the ensemble.
"all movement is a sign of thirst. most speaking really says, 'i am hungry to know you.' every desire of the body is holy." ---hafiz
one motion leads to another. georgie and joe find their thirst on the dance floor. leading them to the roof... then to uninhibited playful plotting, "we should have sex...where?"
emily's movement is driven by cell phone reception.."call me baby, call me baby..." desperate to hear her love's voice.
james is in full body and heart overload...caused by a kind of dehydration. he must find elise--only she can fulfill him, quench him. he must find her, it's a matter of survival.
danny must for once, get up and out of his head, his judgement, his ego and save two lives: emily and the baby. The baby's movement takes control. ready or not, the baby is coming. there is no time for logic. MOVE motherfucker!!!!! ---------- we played with locations. finding that all of this can take place just about anywhere, and it will...small or large spaces. nearly all at the same time, choreographed chaos!!!!!!!!
When I first rehearse a scene I say the words in as many different ways as I can, and, if allowed, I move in as many different directions as I can. You never know when an errant step or an awkward turn of phrase will wind up in the show, or better yet, unearth a part of the character heretofore unknown. Besides, there is usually plenty of time to get it right. The first rehearsal is also my time to cast my net as far as I can with the other actors. I want to get in their faces and let them know I'm here and available to them as a resource. These two techniques work well together, and lead to a fun rehearsal. Tonight we worked on the first scene of the play after James's monologue. Although it usually seems like there is never enough time in any rehearsal, tonight seemed especially short. We only had about 30 minutes to run the eight page scene, which resulted in running it once, receiving notes, and running it once more. It felt like just a taste. I think it comes from a certain anxiousness to discover everything all at once. I wanted to run the scene over and over again until I had said the words every way, then begin to hone in on what felt best. But patience Joseph. Patience.
i love to dance!!!! it's the best!!!! dancing with tyler is fun and gave more purpose to our action in the scene. i think it'll be weird....and totally cool. and i wanna feel good about going over the top and being weird since we are the most ethereal characters in the show. ....really nothing could be too too much! wanna practice computer moves. wanna be totally clear. i like discovering how georgie can sympathize TOTALLY but not empathize. i'm excited to discover more moments like that.