This Sunday I had the honor of being part of Circle’s first rehearsal as one of the actors with one Soroya. We had a couple people observing and Katie was our Director. The following is my reactions to those rehearsals after a day or so of reflection.
First off, it was ridiculously fun. Better yet, I knew it would be. Over the past few years, even though I’ve been in a couple of comedies, it’s been a long time that I wasn’t surprised that rehearsal was just a ton of fun. This isn’t to say that I haven’t had fun in rehearsals (that would suck), but it has been a long time since I knew it was going to be really fun going in, and it was.
Our rehearsal was split into two distinct parts, Viewpoints and shadow puppetry.
I’m going to start with the shadow puppetry part since it was something I was much more comfortable with in general. The goal of the shadow puppetry was to simulate a sex scene in the most ridiculous and hilarious manner possible. Which I have to say is going to work beautifully. I consider myself as an actor to be very physically adept, this doesn’t mean I can dance … because I can’t; I’m more of a clown. My comfort level with looking like an awkward, foolish, buffoon played wonderfully with Soroya’s legitimate coordinated sexiness, and turned into a dance with shadows, perceived distance and size that’s made our observers laugh to the point of pain, and I look forward to bringing it to a sizeable audience. The Viewpoints exercise was very different though.
Katie (our head writer/Artistic Director) is very experienced with ‘Viewpoints’. Viewpoints, as far as I can tell from my limited experience with it, is not only a method of developing characters, stories, possibly performance art itself, but also a style of acting. Viewpoints asks the actor to let go of their cerebral side, and embrace their instincts and enact it physically. This style is very different from the intellectual style of acting that I am much more practiced and comfortable with. Not only that but throughout my personal life come to the conclusion ‘that my guts … have s**t for brains’ –High Fidelity. If you know me, you’ll understand how Viewpoints can be a very difficult thing for someone whose M.O. is thinking too much and constant self-conscious over-analysis.
Sunday was very interesting for me. I came to a few realizations about myself as a person and an actor. While Viewpoints exercises striped me of my highly motivated and protective super-ego, and intelligent rationalizing ego, that at the core of me, I have a nerdy, flighty, terrified of women, 12 year old, engineer of an ID. Big surprise, right? I’m not sure what to do about that other than be aware of it. As an actor I realized how dependant I am on segregating myself from the character I’m portraying. It’s much easier for me to decide how a character would make a decision or react to some situation than it is for me to honestly describe that for myself. Some of the questions raised in the rehearsal were shockingly difficult for me to answer, and showed me that I perhaps don’t know myself as well as I had previously thought.
With all those discoveries and with the absurd amount of fun we had in rehearsal; I’m a little upset that the next rehearsal that I’m scheduled for isn’t for another month. I really can’t wait.