This weekend I am going to a gorgeous South Carolina beach to watch my best friend get married. I am going to enjoy that. I am also going to enjoy laying around on a towel without any scripts of any kind to distract me from doing nothing. 69 Love Scenes is going into its third week. Disc 3 – the show that I am not in. And while its been so very very fun, I am deeply grateful to not be trying to learn lines for ten new sketches this week. You see with 69 different sketches, and 10-15 performers, we were only able to rehearse each sketch one time before tech. Sometimes your scene partner couldn’t make it to that rehearsal, so there was just tech. And the first time that we run the show in its entirety without stopping is on Friday night, in front of an audience.
Not everyone shared my nervousness. About 2/3 of the troupe are from Austin’s improv community. And they were all very relaxed. The traditional actors we less so. I had a dream the week we opened that I was performing at the Long Center in a play directed by Michael McKelvey. Every single person I respect was in the audience. Obama. Dolly Parton. The hot barista I get my coffee from every morning. I not only didn’t know my lines, but didn’t know what the play was about or anything about my character. There was a closet way upstage and I opened it and found a huge fur coat. I put in on in the hopes that no one would recognize me. The other actors, including Rue McClanahan, looked at me like I was an asshole. It was unpleasant, but Michelle Obama shot me a sympathetic look which come to think of it, almost turned the whole dream around.
I tried to think of the show in a different way. I decided I could think of it as under-rehearsed theatre or over-rehearsed improv. I decided to go with the latter. Rue McClanahan stopped visiting my dreams a la Freddy Kruger. Then we opened. Disc One went so breezily Shannon Grounds and I wondered if we actually ever needed to rehearse any play more than once. “Pffft! Shakespeare, we got this.” Disc Two had a few wobbly moments, but the audience roared through it. Even seemed to revel in it. So what the hell do I know? There are so many funny people in this show. Funny people that fully embrace the unexpected in a way I wish came more easily to me. I’m learning a lot from them. But come this weekend, I’m just going to be trying to learn how to be tan. You however, should go see Disc Three. There are about 12 people learning lines for it right now. x0
Also read the Chronicle‘s write-up. Good ol’ Wayne Alan Brenner was kind enough to drop by rehearsal.