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!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Scrooge Chronicles

The last time I blogged anything was opening night of Uncle Vanya at Cal Shakes. I've done Rock N Roll at ACT since then, and am now a week into rehearsals for A Christmas Carol (also at ACT) reprising the role of Scrooge. Three months of not writing....Why? I don't know exactly.

Both Vanya and R N R were great experiences with wonderful casts--I didn't like the character I'd created in Vanya (like everyone in that fictional household I found ways of coping with him) but enjoyed the hell out of the truly despicable party functionary I found in Rock N Roll. Bad guys are fun! After we closed Rock N Roll at ACT the show went on to Boston for a run at the Huntington Theatre but left behind 3 cast members -- Nick Pelczar, Natalie Hegg (both students at the Conservatory) and myself, all 3 of us now rehearsing Christmas Carol. At the closing night celebration in Fred's Lounge at ACT I felt as if I were standing on a dock somewhere waving my hankie at a ship sailing off over a darkening ocean. Bon Voyage, y'all. They've opened now, and are doing well. I send them a rude card from time to time.

And now I have a whole new batch of young goobers to break in as Scrooge, little ones and students, and it brings with it a new set of joys and makes my Carol "family" just a little larger. Some of the young ones are back, some kids entirely new to the experience and I've twice found kids who were in the show previous years wistfully waiting outside the building. Quite touching. And again I've at least 30 new names to memorize and I'm dreadful at names, truly pathetic--I have to study.

But even though I have to get in shape for the role--go into training for it really, it definitely has payoffs; yesterday we had our first run-through and I went full out, no holding back, full performance energy and found myself totally pooped, and drenched at plays end. We took a break before our note session and I toweled off, got back into street clothes and plopped into a corner to rest.

As I sat there one of the little girls in the cast--a tomboy-ish one who ties her long hair back--came racing up to me, stuffed a tiny piece of paper into my hand, and said "You need to read this!" and ran off giggling. I unclasped my hand and found there a fortune from the interior of a fortune cookie; it read:

"Don't worry about the Stock Market. Invest in family."