Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Little Gripe

Just a little one ...

I'm in this group that's doing a play -- not a theatre group, 'cause that's not what what we are, but just a group of people that will be putting on 2 plays later this month for educational purposes. We've been working on this for about 3 months now.

I think the director was skeptical that I'd be any good at this. She didn't invite me, someone else did, so sensing her doubts, I worked very hard and enthusiastically to put them to rest. So far, I've done really well and she's given me good feedback. Both my parts are pretty small, and reading the script, I've been able to fine-tune a few lines and gestures, and I think she's been impressed with my innovations.

Well, last night we rehearsed for the first time in awhile. She was not critical, but the other leader of the group, who first invited me to do this, was in a snarky mood because a lot of people were doing other things in the building and kind of straggled in late, and our start was delayed. So I guess he was gunning for everybody, but when he threw a criticism at me, it hurt. The reason: I have this one particular line that needs to be read a certain way -- and I KNOW it has to be read a certain way. In fact, my script has the notation to throw a double-entendre tone into the line. It's MY notation and I've been reading it that way right from the get-go. However, the line comes immediately after a moment where there's going to be a loud audience reaction. I've never gotten any kind of feedback on how to time this line. If I wait for things to settle down, the person next to me is "nudging" me as though she thinks I've forgotten the line; I found myself mouthing "I know, I know," out the corner of my mouth the first time she did that. So last night, by the time I actually got to say the line, it was all I could do just to get the damn words out of my mouth, and all the inflection had basically been left in the dust. And what do you think they zero in on? "Oh, you have to put a lot more 'umph' into that line -- you can't just say the words because it's obvious that there's a double meaning there," yadda yadda yadda.

It's a measure of my new-found maturity that I didn't stamp my foot and say "Haven't you been listening all this time? I was the one who injected the tone into it in the first place and I've never once heard a word of approval from you about it!!! Grrrr!"

But I didn't. I merely said that I did have it highlighted -- and finally they gave me some support in how and when to come in with the line so it wouldn't get drowned out by the audience.

It just irritated me. Or I should say, it irritated my insecure little ego....

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