The build up to week 1 of rehearsals was crazy busy, with scheduling, finding a final cast member after unforeseen job offers, scrambling to find alternative rehearsal space with a grand piano for a number of the days of rehearsal, plus filling funding applications to get the show to London in August. PHEW.
And then finally rehearsals started, full cast in tow.
It’s Day 4, and today is the first day where it feels like things have finally settled down. My routine is settled, the pressure of application forms is over, and now I can finally concentrate on rehearsal content without having my mind in ten other places at the same time. I’m sitting in rehearsal right now whilst my live electronics and musical director are experimenting with sound using Michael’s invention scivolo, an electronic instrument which can be played more like a traditional acoustic instrument, allowing Michael to be mobile and not hidden behind a laptop.
So far in rehearsals I’ve mainly been concerned with movement. In the first rehearsal I used basic Viewpoint exercises with my cast for team building. It was interesting for me to see the differences in how everyone moves; who’s more explorative with their body, who needs loosening up, who’s more confident using their voice, who’s more interesting through imitation or more interesting through their own initiative. For my cast I’m working with two professional actors, and a singer/songwriter who’s new to acting. It is a challenge to me as a director to challenge the musician to express himself through his body, to make him aware of how he moves, what habits his body has formed, and how to negate, experiment and amplify these habits to create his character. He’s very open to it, and I’ve had one rehearsal with him alone, and will have another on Friday.
It’s a bit of a learning curve for me too. It’s the first time I’ve led a project as ambitious as this, and I know that I have a lot to learn. But I’m excited by my team of experienced improvising musicians, experienced actors and singers, and Hannes, my musical director, is being a fairly constant source of wisdom and calm. Wooo!
Anyway, here‘s a video from our rehearsal today with Michael and scivolo. Enjoy.