Thursday, May 16, 2013

Definition: Blocking is the process of planning where, when, and how actors will move about the stage during a performance. A term coined by W.S. Gilbert, who used small wooden blocks to represent actors, moving these about on a miniature set of a planned work.

         I do not know if the definition I gave above is hundred percent true especially the part about W.S. Gilbert. But I liked it. It fits what my blog is about today. The movement of the actors based on the script and my personal style.

         So far we are going strong! I have a wonderful cast who are ready and able to work. There is a lot of laughter as one of us says something and everyone else pause to see if they heard what they just said. Or when one of the actor who is working with a dialect stretch a word beyond what was expected. Movement and the play also have us in stitches. I really like to laugh so... Maybe it can go on a little long, but I do brings us back. We have not yet finished what we set out to work on because we got too distracted.

        I did basic blocking on the show last week and this week I started refining it. Adding emotion and discussing the characters. Bring it to life. Building on the script. Megan (the writer) told me last night that the show was becoming mine. It would always be hers but I was adding (and taking away, to tell the truth) things that she hadn't even thought of.

      This week Megan (again the writer) could be at rehearsal. It was such a kick having her! When the few lines came up that landed wrong on my ear. I would point them out. She is such a good sport. It must be really hard for her to watch her baby being raised by someone else. I not sure how gracious I would be if I had a director who dropped a big part of the blocking I had written because she felt it was unnecessary and was never mentioned in the lines. A rule in theatre: If it is not in the lines it can be changed. But if the character mentions a color or that the statue is of Napoleon then it must be like that on stage. Fun. And she has been so good about it. For instance: You (the audience) will never see a welcome mat in this play. Sorry. And most of the bad words have been remove. Again sorry if that just breaks your heart.

      Then there are each of my fabulous actors who brings their own thoughts and personality to the room. And I am ever willing to have them give me their take on what is happening. There have been instances when I have ask what this scene means to them when they are not willing. And a few time they have helped each other through a problem without me needing to say anything.

         I feel really blessed to have such a wonderful cast. For they are willing to reread the same line over at least ten times while I work out just what I want to happen with movement and emotion as it is read. A cast who doesn't mind trying things, that I state right out front that I will probably hate but still must see. Actors who listen to me ramble on far longer then necessary to make a point and then try and do what they think my disjointed monologue meant, and often bring something far better. Every day I am more and more enthralled.

Well as the time nears for another rehearsal I going to wrap this up with a few picture to show you all how confusing theatre can be. ;)
These are the words that a good director will use when telling you to go somewhere on stage. Hmm.  Hopefully I will soon start. 

Scared yet?

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