It’s been so busy round here we haven’t even had time to put up this great blog performer Kari Ann Shiff has written. Sorry folks. Here it is.
Out of the Living Room and onto the Stage
On Tuesday last week Maiden & I were first to arrive to room 5:18. When we walked in I noticed a mark up taped on the floor – “Hey, someone has marked a set on the floor! They can’t rehearse another show in here, that’s our stage pace,” i complained. “That’s not another show,” replied Maiden, “that’s our set. See?” And it was. How exciting!
Anyone walking in on rehearsals the last several weeks would have noticed the way we have set up our own mini living space on one side of the room. I say “living space” because it is more than a Green Room; it is really a “Living” Room. Research book & magazines, instruments, candles & incense – our ‘mental’ props on one table; chocolate gingers (a staple!), crisps & oat cakes, fresh juice & all varieties of hot drinks – our ‘physical’ props on another. “Surely this can’t be a rehearsal room!” one might think upon entering. But it is; for as much mind-stimulating creative work as we have done within the boundaries of our living space, so have we done equal amounts devising on our feet. And now, since Tuesday, we’ve been almost entirely outta the living room and on to the ‘stage’!
What this has meant for us:
1. We are tired – More tired than we have been thus far; and believe you me, we’ve been pretty tired. The better part of 8 hours a day on your feet in the stage space devising is both exhilarating and exhausting.
2. We have a show – Of course, we’ve had one all along, but now with lines of masking tape marking out our set, we are seeing the first layer of it-all-coming-together. This is a very exciting feeling!
3. We had our first audience – We have a set, we have a show, and we had our first run through of it-all-coming-together for an invited audience of keen observers. And we did it, we got through it! (Whew.) Lynne, Hana, and our production team all gave us some very positive feedback, as well as some very helpful constructive food for thought. (Yes, there were chocolate gingers on hand; thank the Goddess for Border’s Dark Chocolate Ginger biscuits & tea! We are steadily nurturing our addiction…)
4. We’ve been ‘rewriting’ – Okay, not really rewriting, as we are not allowed to write (see blog for the 12th about that), but rather reworking. Now we have our set laid-out, we are seeing where some things need to happen differently. And now we’ve had a run through, we are seeing where some things should happen differently. And now we’ve had an audience, we are seeing where some things could happen differently. Do you see the pattern?
5. The benefits of trust exercises really show when devising – Far more than just learning to freefall with my eyes shut into somebody’s-gonna-catch-me’s hands, the trust exercises played in my theatre school days have enabled me to trust this process. It’s been a lot of work so far, and there’s still more to do, but we can see the whole thing coming into fruition. At the end of the day, or week, it’s all been good; hard work, but good.
Kari Ann- The Mother