We dove into two of our five scenes today playing with sound, the mics, movement, and the text to figure out what works best.
I have a bit of a sense of relief in how we’re approaching this ‘event’ because we are treating and presenting it very much as a work-in-progress R&D to test new material and form in front of an audience. It’s not a finished project or idea. It’s hard to keep my NYC mind out of this process. I keep forgetting how much more sensical people approach work here. Maybe not so much season programming and commissioning but it can’t all be better.
I’m good with our approach because that’s not what I wanted from this R&D which would have been difficult with only 10 days. But I also selfishly want someone to pick it up and develop it or commission it.
So we read, deconstruct the text, and, my favourite part, listen to how the actors interpret the meaning.
Look, sometimes I write and don’t think. I don’t imply any meaning. Sometimes it serendipitously happens and manages to line up. Sometimes I hear it and think: What the hell am I saying? But I get a kick out of hearing how people interpret it. It reminds me that we can never really know what, if anything, an author intends with their work. It’s all supposition based on context and our own cultural and societal values and mores.
And in those lightning moments, meaning is brought to my text that knocks me over (in a good way) because I think I work subconsciously as I write. I let the muses, as it were, take me where they will. Then I follow up and reshape the logorrhoeaic mess on the page. And when it marries in a way I didn’t expect I love it.
And sometimes I have to push back and say: Sorry that’s not what it means and you can’t continue down that path because it will mess something up later on.
I didn’t do that once in a rehearsal process. It fucked up my play and subsequent production. I’ve learned never to stay quiet on those issues.
The best part of the day for me was when I got up to play with the actors when one of our ladies had to step out for an apppintment and was running late coming back.
I was there in the trenches working with Rania and Lara, building a musical language with Kareem, and reshaping the text with Ita’s movement acumen and third eye.
It reminded me how much I miss acting. How much easier I find it. How much more fulfilling it is – likely because it’s not as lonely as a process. It reminds me that I’m making the right decision to fully come out of my 3-year hiatus and get back on stage. That’s my home. It’s immediate. It’s more ephemeral.
I don’t think I’ll stop writing. Although I don’t know for sure. And if that’s what comes out of this two-week R&D I don’t think I would be disappointed. I would be thankful for the clarity.
Why waste anyone’s time, let alone mine?
I’m not going to turn this into a self-aggrandising or self-loathing post. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I’m excited to see what is unearthed in Day 9. Maybe I’ll pull a Showgirls on one of the ladies and step into a role.