« Information, Technology, Communication: choose two | Main | Book Report: The City & The City »

One Half and one half is still one half

Your Humble Blogger doesn’t have any news from last night’s rehearsal. We’re getting close, now: last night we did after-the-intermission twice, tonight we’re doing before-the-intermission (twice, I hope), and after that it’s just running the play through from beginning to end, over and over, until somebody starts applauding.

It is a trifle strange for, running the second half twice like that. The second half is my quiet half: I’m in IV,ii (at the beginning, and then exiting for a page or two and then coming back on) and V,i (my death, a one-page scene) and then I’m one of the ghosts in V,ii and that’s it. So I have a lot of sitting down in the green room in between scenes of tremendous emotion and stress. It’s not actually that hard to gear up for the tremendous emotion and stress; the hard part is sitting back down quietly in the green room afterward. The first half has a lot less backstage time for me, and a lot less emotion on-stage. Build-up, don’t you know. The second half is the payoff for my character—but since it’s not a play about the Duke of Buckingham, it’s a payoff well before the play actually ends.

And, of course, running the thing twice means that the moment I am backstage, I am thinking about what went wrong in the scene, and what I need to do to get it right. If we’re just running scenes, then I don’t have that moment—I’m just up and doing it again. If we’re running the whole play, then I know I can’t do anything about the problems until tomorrow, so that’s all right. But running half the play is the maximum time for me to fret about doing it again the same night, which is what really makes the whole sitting-in-the-green-room bit so difficult.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,