Merchant of Venice Rehearsals Day 9

Acting 101: Leave your baggage at the door. It will destroy you.

I was not having a good day today. Sometimes as much as you want to leave it at home you can’t get it out of your head. Any other day and I could have probably gotten away with it.

But today we put text work aside and worked on physical and emotional connection to music.  The one thing you don’t want when you are desperately trying to hold in emotions is an exercise designed to release emotions. I’m afraid to say that I went into lockdown. I was more airtight than a giant vacuum. So I was bullshitting my way through the exercise moving in the way I thought might fit the music with as little risk as possible but three minutes in I felt a familiar arm grasp mine and that human contact was so hard for me. I wanted to break out and just ask for a hug but I knew that once I started I wouldn’t be able to pull it back. So I locked down even tighter. Once we finished the exercise Ricky asked if anyone would mind going again so that the others could watch. My soul and gut screamed at me immediately to jump in and do it again but I held back through nothing else but sheer cowardice if I’m honest. So I sat and watched, and watched people cry as they watched and I just felt immensely jealous. Why didn’t I get up and join in? Why couldn’t I let it out or let it go? What even was it making me feel like this? Then I got angry at myself for being so stupid. By this point I felt that I must be giving of a very negative energy. I would have looked like someone who couldn’t care less which made me even angrier because that is the polar opposite. It’s hard work this Shakespeare stuff and we ask a lot of ourselves, which is good because you always should ask a lot in every aspect of life, but you have to separate it from your outside life sometimes which is easier said than done. In sooth I know not why I am so sad but I need to cheer the fuck up by tomorrow!

Thursday began with an intensive movement session, utilising the opening track composed by Neil. The actors were asked to listen to the music, then see how it affected their breath and their bodies. Ricky and I observed some fascinating visuals and moves, which Ricky might use when choreographing the opening. The ideas will have come from the cast, rather than having movement imposed upon them. The daily warm-up is building muscle strength and ensuring the actors engage their diaphragms when breathing, which will be necessary for the movement in the production. During text work we had a couple of moments that you probably only get when working with Shakespeare’s texts. We started to discuss how honest Bassanio is when he asks Antonio for money – does the latter know what a risk it is? This triggered other ideas and queries, and new potential interpretations of certain lines…




1 Comment

Filed under Rehearsals, Theatre

One response to “Merchant of Venice Rehearsals Day 9

  1. judy Adams

    JM, great blogg today on ‘acting 101’ and I totally feel for you. I worked with a director many years ago when I was acting, he too asked me to leave baggage at the rehearsal door. It was so hard and confusing and frustrating and I felt a fraud etc., then he say “Judy it’s not enough to walk to the edge of the abyss, you have to walk through it!” I did and boy! was I pleased I did. Best thoughts Judy

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