Saturday, July 19, 2008

Still life with quitter


Still life with quitter, originally uploaded by tberrongkc.

This could have been so much more interesting.

Two rehearsals today. TWO. Burnin' Sternum's first one—which was a blast—and my first practice back with Tommy for the Poke show before August's Thunderdome. But I did not take a picture, because tonight I was going to be at either ComedyCity or CounterClockwise's roast of Total Recall. 

Sigh. 

I head out to ComedyCity, e-mailing Nikki on the way to see if they're going to have a show. She's sick, the DuPonts won't be there, and I change directions to head to Total Recall. I'll be late, but who cares? Except I park and realize I left my wallet on my side table, because I had it out to make KCiF guest artist travel arrangements. Now I'll be 45 minutes late. 

Screw it. Time to open a bottle of wine, pop a 100-calorie bag of Jolly Time and whip out a movie with George Clooney in it. (Ocean's 13. Which, oddly, is much more fun to watch now that Clooney is no longer dating a 20-something cocktail waitress.) 

ANYWAY. The universe told me to stay home, and I'm staying home. 

Rehearsals were fun. The Sternums were minus Pete, which makes it 20% less fun, but it was a good couple of hours. We got together a few months ago to figure out what we were interested in doing—a continuous, single-location scene. We're still working out specifics—like whether we'll do entrances and exits, switch out characters, stuff like that. Today was just play time; we cleared the living room furniture and ran three 30-minute-ish scenes. 

Ever rehearsed in the living room of a condo? If rehearsing in a library squashes a little bit of weird, the living room (for me, anyway) stomps it into the ground. AH. A topic: Does your rehearsal space matter?

When the kids studied with Annoyance folks in Chicago, Susan Messing talked about respecting the space—how the Annoyance classrooms gave you protection to do a specific kind of work, the iO stage gave you permission to do another, and the Liberty High School stage demanded yet another. 

I freak out a little any time someone swears in our space at the library. I yelled something pretty gross (but plot relevant)—and then felt very uncomfortable about yelling it—when I rehearsed with Babel Fish in Nathan's back yard off Ward Parkway. I play very close to myself when I'm in my own living room, with my neighbors above and on either side (it didn't help that Michael got a letter from the HOA after one rehearsal at his place).

The only place I really completely let go is in a certified improv space—a classroom, or on the stage where we'll be performing. 

Which doesn't seem like a legit reason to hold back. Even if I have to dial the volume down or watch the content, there should be other types of risks I should be able to take. I got truly annoyed at myself after one scene, where Rob had an actual emotional point of view and I duped myself into believing I'd grounded the scene and my character by not responding in a realistic way. 

I shouldn't have to be in a performance space to perform. There's something new to work on.

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