Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The New Hotness

I"m slowly getting used to all the iMac hotness... behold my first post using the Blogger widget!

Now I can post more easily... if I can get used to this tiny wireless keyboard!

Monday, February 18, 2008

I've Joined a Cult

The cult of Jobs....

My the Gods have mercy on the Apple support line... because I'm going to use my AppleCare for all it's worth!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Second Night: Recap

My apologies for the tardiness of this update. Not much to report on the second night. We finished reading the play and it didn't strike me as long as I remembered. Lear's long-winded-ness doesn't kick in until Act 4 or so, and my wanderings on the heath are as interesting than the King's. I haven't reviewed the text to bear this out, but I'm not sure what happens to Gloucester. Edgar leaves him under a tree and then takes him away to safety somewhere else. It's hard to imagine what safety he could offer Gloucester while the army of France is being routed by the English forces.

Two thoughts scribbled in my notes from the second night:

  • "Edg can take care of himself?"
  • "Edm needed protection... but at a distance"
There's the rub, I think. Despite all his pretences to the contrary, I believe that Gloucester treats his sons very differently, and the mistakes he made with Edmund go back for years. Edgar was always the capable one, or so Gloucester thought. Edmund was the "son" that needed looking after. What if the reverse is true? It's quite clear that Edmund knows how to handle himself both with word and with sword. Edgar is completely taken in by his brother's ruse. How capable is he, really?

And what mistakes did Gloucester make with Edgar?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

First Night: Recap

Tonight began like any other show I've ever done: introductions, administrivia, scheduling (lots and lots of scheduling -- and it still isn't done yet!) and then a bit of reading. A few observations:
  • Short rehearsals: our evenings will be relatively short, beginning at 7:15 and ending two to two and a half hours later. The Director said that his page limit on Shakespeare is about 10 pages. I'm of mixed mind about this: on the one hand I won't be as exhausted on a day-in day-out basis, but I really like to work in larger blocks of text. Then again, I'm not directing this production, so I guess I should just be grateful, eh?
  • Thrust staging: the fact that I have directed in this space should serve me well. Our playing space will be bounded on three sides by audience and we'll have six entrances. Six! I'm going to make sure I have a map with me at all times so I can keep my comings and goings straight.
  • Aging: the Director asked me how I wanted to handle Gloucester's age. I asked him how he'd like me to handle it. He suggested a beard. I've never had a beard before. The last time I grew facial hair of any sort it came in on the reddish-brown side. That was over ten years ago, so I'm willing to give it another try. Any suggestions from the hirsute among you (ahem, Joe) will be greatly appreciated.
  • Blood: and yes, there will be lots of it!

I've Been Cast! Now What?

OK, so I've been cast in this great show. The first rehearsal is about 18 hours from now. So what am I doing to prepare?


That's right, nothing. There's no point in reading the text (and besides, it seems to be packed away somewhere and I can't locate it!) because the Director has probably made a few cuts and changes. It wouldn't resemble the original text. Now I did skim it online during lunch on Thursday, mainly to see how many scenes Gloucester has and where they are positioned in the play. Shakespeare has front-loaded this role in the first three acts. After he is blinded, he appears in a few really choice scenes but he's not onstage all the time. Which is a relief, actually. I can plan how to husband my physical resources during the performance with some actual breaks.

So now I wait to see what the Director has in store for the production.

I can't wait!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Rededication

I've spent the last six months feeling sorry for myself. It cost me, that feeling. It cost me the trust of my boss. It cost me some sobriety. It cost me some anger, rage and fear. Lots and lots of fear. Fear of never being good enough for anyone ever again. Fear of losing my Voice. Fear of pushing my friends away.

So. This feeling, then. It sucks.

I'm sick of it.

(Notice I didn't say I'm through with it. I'm not. But at last I see a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel.)

I'm slowly making some changes. I've said that before, yes. But this time I think if I don't change my life I may end up being afraid all the time. I can't abide that.

So. Changes, then. What sort?

Starting here, I'm going to shift the focus of this space. The subtitle mentions politics and theater. I've written much on the former and precious little about the latter. I'm going to execute a flip-flop and devote this space to my experiences with my next show, "King Lear". I'm playing the part of Gloucester, and I'm going to use this space to let you inside my process. What goes on in my head and my body as I prepare to play this great part. It's long been one of my favorites and I only hope that I can do it justice. Some of my dearest friends are in this production, so I will be working in a comfortable place. It is my hope that I can stretch myself within this "comfort zone". I hope you will find it entertaining.

As for the other changes, well, they're mine for now. I may inform you of them later. I may not. Time will tell.

As dire as the opening of this post sounds, please don't worry about me. I'm feeling better than I have in months. For the first time in my life I am anxiously awaiting the return of Spring. I used to hide from it, trapped in a fog of antihistamines and flop sweat. I'm tired of hiding from my life.

Time to make an entrance!