Pozzo Diaries: Gogo gone

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Bad news from Godot, as the actor playing Gogo has had to be replaced, due to illness. This is the second time I’ve been in a show where an actor has had to drop out, and it’s awful. I feel terrible for the guy, and of course it puts us back in the preparation calendar, which I can only imagine he feels even worse about. Ugh.

Our new Gogo is someone I’ve worked with before (in fact, as we scrambled to think of local actors of a certain age who might be available, it was me who thought of him) and after all of one rehearsal I’m quite optimistic about his performance. It will be, of course, a different show than it would have been with our original Gogo, and that’s going to be OK. This Gogo is goofier, more enthusiastic, less exhausted. I really enjoyed watching our Didi respond to the changes, shifting his line readings and playing back to the new relationship.

Pozzo hasn’t changed much so far. He might not. Pozzo doesn’t listen to Gogo or Didi—I suspect that what change there is in Pozzo’s character will come with Pozzo’s attempts to split the two of them, and how much or how little Gogo will fall for that. We’ll see. It’s not the sort of thing that comes out at one rehearsal which is mostly devoted to telling the new actor about the old blocking.

The change does mean that I carried my script last night—in general there are two kinds of actors, those who want to get the script out of their hands as quickly as possible even if it means they have to be prompted a lot, and those who want to hold the script as long as possible even after they really could get through it without the pages. I have become the second of those, to the likely irritation of my castmates who are the former. I was just about to set the book down for Act One, though—except that with a new fellow learning the blocking, I feel like it’s more important to avoid time-wasting mistakes of memory than to get my gestures working. I don’t feel panicky about not having my lines down yet, which I probably should—this setback is throwing off my sense of where we should be in the process. Which might be all right, honestly. I think that amateur theater in general rehearses more than should be necessary, partially because we all have day jobs and thus not doing the work outside rehearsals that we should be, and partially because we do this because we enjoy it, and besides that we’re volunteers, so there’s no reason to minimize the hours of rehearsal.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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