Jim's Richard III Blog

What had started as a blog of Richard III rehearsal process at Cal Shakes has now evolved or devolved into a small novella. The author is petrified to change the name for fear it'll disappear, and wouldn't know what to call it anyway. Many stories are included and questions are even answered sometimes!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Feelin' Guilty

Wednesday Rehearsal: Not called for rehearsal on Weds.................

I'm feeling like I should be contributing something. This is kind of like a paid vacation. Mind you, I'm not griping about it I'm just not used to it. I HAVE been doing things though--I was just doing something, before I came back to California mere days ago.

So in a vain effort to justify my existence I've decided to write about what I WAS doing starting from where I last blogged--at the end of Cal Shakes final show last season--a sort of "Where Did This Year Go?" retrospective..................and I will, I'm sure, be doing something soon. Don't go away.

I had a bit of time off after As You Like It closed and then launched into A Christmas Carol at ACT as Scrooge--we kind of took it apart and put it back together again, added some new text cut some old, tweaked it and teased it until Domineque Lozono (last year's director and a fellow CST Associate Artist), Carey Perloff, myself and all others felt it land a bit cleaner and sharper. I was pleased with the way it came out--there's always the danger when remounting a piece of forgetting that you may have different actors and thinking "Well, let's just get it up and plug it all back in (not that we did) and we'll have a show." Danger Will Robinson!! One actor is seldom happy with another's choice--since they weren't there when it was made they have nothing to tie it to, and it won't feel like something organic but something imposed. I did a remount of Winters Tale once and was having real problems trying to recreate another actor's choices and make them work truthfully--at one point turning to the director and saying as much. They replied "I don't understand WHAT your problem is Carpenter--the last actor who played this role......" and stopped when I spun around and raised my eyebrow. Really high. The director eventually got so frustrated with us all that she blew up and called rehearsal for the day.

I think the Conservatory students saw that I was taking the role seriously and engaged beautifully in the show--they asked questions, made choices and took risks. Below is a picture taken during the rehearsal process. That's me on the bottom. In case you were wondering. And even though I closely resemble the Orangutan doctor in the original Planet of the Apes movie--I'm actually being the bottom end of a totem pole. I think. That or I was really cranky and they were making fun of me behind my back--equally possible. The little goon in the middle was our Tiny Tim--loved her to pieces--and the larger goon on top was our irrepressible Turkey Boy.

You can't really tell in this shot but I grew some deeply strange sideburns which came to a point on the tip of my chin. My neighbors think I'm really weird........nobody bothered me on BART though.

The show went well though I wound up coming down with walking pneumonia and getting sicker than hell -- we decided to plug Anthony Fusco, fellow Associate Artist at CST and my understudy for Carol, into the role for 5 performances--Anthony was a thorough and utter pro, had all the lines, the blocking everything. Thank you Anthony, you saved my life! It's the first time I've ever had an understudy go on for me after opening a show (I was replaced in a preview once) and it was hard to admit to myself that I just couldn't do it, but I came back and finished out the run and had better shows than I'd ever had. They've asked me back to play Scrooge in 2007 and I've agreed.

And my wife Cass and I had a beautiful, uncomplicated, uncommercial Christmas-- A simple Christmas; I hope you had a good one too.

Coming Up: Why I let my hair grow so long and skanky!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home