Thursday, October 10, 2013

A STEADY RAIN - blog #1

Hi, I’m Chris Haines. I’m playing “Joey” in Actors Theatre’s upcoming production of A STEADY RAIN by Keith Huff running Oct. 25-Nov. 10 at the Playhouse on the Park in the Viad Building. I thought for my blog I would sort of take you through the rehearsal process, what goes on and my take on acting and rehearsals.

So our first week of rehearsal is behind us, and we’re into week 2 of A STEADY RAIN rehearsal. Last week was mostly table work and some initial blocking of the first part of the show. So what’s table work? As it sounds, the actors and the director are at a table, reading from the script. This is a time for close, detailed examination of the text, asking questions, understanding meaning/intentions/motivations. Table work is not necessarily reading through the full script, but breaking it down in manageable chunks which transitions into blocking. Where you take those chunks and begin to put them on their feet. This can be the most frustrating period of time for the actor. The actors are still “on book”—reading from their scripts—trying to take that clarity and understanding that came from the table work and bring that to life in what we are saying and move about onstage. Sort of like patting your head, rubbing your belly and tapping your foot at the same time. At this point our scripts are a crutch; as actors we feel they are holding us back. While frustrating, it is, to me, a vital and necessary part of the process. Being reliant on our scripts forces us to slow down, to not rush through the moments and to find the reality and the truth that is there on the pages of those damn scripts.

Next blog, I’ll share with you my own personal process and how I approach a character.

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