Magic and A Few Missed Stages

Tonight we had the dress rehearsal for a reader’s theater play that my church is doing. I have a fairly big role, but it’s only one character (in the last production I had 8 roles). I’m always amazed at the process of bringing a show to life. At the first reading there is some excitement and a lot of enthusiasm. As the rehearsals progress, it becomes clear that it is going to be more difficult than originally anticipated. It doesn’t really matter how many shows you’ve done, you always have that moment when you realize it’s a bigger job than you thought. There is always a mid-rehearsal depression – it’s not coming together, I can’t memorize that one line, the character falls apart in this scene.

This show, particularly, has been challenging because it’s a premier and the writer/director is hearing the lines he wrote being said by other people for the first time complete with nuances that he may not have expected. In the later rehearsals, there are glimmers of hope that it will all work, but problems remain. Last night we had the actors’ microphones, the music, and the background slides all together for the first time – and it felt like a jumble. Then tonight it seemed to fall into place. Oh there were still problems – a few missed cues, a few dropped lines, some sound effects issue – but basically it suddenly seemed like a show. Late rehearsal magic.

Between the rehearsals, show schedule, and tickets we have to see other shows, I’ve had to say “no” to a few invites to do standup shows. I really hate having to miss these opportunities, both because I feel I’m letting down a fellow comedian and because I know I need the stage time.

Still, I had a pretty good set in Indianapolis last week and the run of the play is only this weekend, after which I can get back to the comedy stage.