06 August 2007

Living on the Fringe

This week is bound to be a full one. In addition to working the ol’ day job as much as possible (which ain’t a great deal, if consideration for my sanity is at all a factor) we’re essentially rehearsing and teching As Far As We Know all week…not necessarily in that order. You see, the tech schedule for Fringe, being as it is hosted by a variety of different theatres over a concentrated period, is a little catch-as-catch-can. In other words, we’ll tech the show (tomorrow [starting at 10:00 am {for only four hours}]) before we’ve really set it. It ain’t called “The Fringe” for nuthin’.

Perhaps it’s this unusual schedule that’s prompting my usage of slangy contractions.

So here’s the run-down of my schedule: Sunday we worked as a whole from 5 to 10. Today we work from 12 to 5. Tomorrow we tech at 10, have a midday break and reconvene in a rehearsal studio from 6 to 10. “Six to ten” is basically the schedule for the remainder of the weekdays, during which days I will be using the rest of the hours of said days to work the day job. And on Saturday we open at 9:00 pm.

So that’s:

Saturday, August 11 @ 9:00 pm.

Tuesday, August 14 @ 7:00 pm.

Saturday, August 18 @ 4:15 pm.

Wednesday, August 22 @ 9:15 pm.


Sunday, August 26 @ 12:00 noon.

Just in case you were wondering. Details here. ;)

I also blame the schedule for my use of emoticons.

So how’s it going, Jeff? Well, Curious Hypothetical, I would say we’re making good progress, and creating the previously desired emphasis on acting when and where ever we can. I don’t know if it will be enough to make it work. I can’t know, essentially, because this is so unlike any schedule I’ve ever experienced before. Unlike, but not entirely dissimilar. Our original Zuppa del Giorno shows tend to have a similar frenetic uncertainty just before they open. More, in fact, owing to certain factors that remain undecided in those shows that are actually quite concrete at this point of UnCommon Cause’s process. (Little things like character, and plot.) Still, with Zuppa there’s a fairly standard schedule for the tech week, and everything is about some kind of progression. With As Far As We Know, it feels much more zig-zaggy. So far as I’ve experienced it, that is. In other words: As far as I know.

(Does anyone else think of that quote from Fletch when they hear the title of our show [Daryl Boling, I’m looking in your direction…]? “Mr. Fletcher?” “As far as you know.”)

I do feel, in moments of decision-making, a surprisingly certain sense of impulse, which I hope is indicative of how prepared I actually am to open my performance to the public. I understand my character and his world clearly and strongly enough that, when there’s a decision to be made about a scene’s progress or expressionistic blocking, I seem to always have a firm, arguable opinion about how it should turn out. That’s a funny way by which to judge one’s readiness to perform as an actor, but perhaps in this unique “creactor” environment it’s a true judgment. We shall see.

I love it, you know. This kind of schedule, though it doesn’t afford me much time for leisurely meals or other entertainment, fulfills me in a way few other things can. It creates in me a feeling of priority, importance and service. Maybe it’s a little like the sense of duty a soldier has. Maybe it’s just the comfort of having deadlines, as in school. The best part, however, is inevitably the feeling of spending all this time on something I care about, personally.

That is a much more rare and significant feeling of frazzled exhaustion.

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