Yesterday, I attempted to block my first scene. Ever. It was a small scene with three actors. Thankfully, I was blessed with three very awesome and patient humans who really tried to make the experience fantastic and easy. I can’t even imagine trying to do it with other actors (thank you again, DR, BR and TK!). And of course, JZ and LW were there to support me (you guys are my favourites!). It was a great situation for a neophyte like me to be in.
Unfortunately, it did not go well as I
expected hoped. Yes, I am harder on myself than I need to be, but I struggled with intention and insecurity. Then the scene just ended up looking so… boring. But! JZ (as we had agreed before the rehearsal) jumped in to save a floundering me. So all is certainly not lost, but the scene is definitely still a work in progress.
After rehearsal, I felt crushed (strong word, I know, but it fits). I let a whole shitstorm of insecurity and other self-condemning bullshit wreak havoc in my brain. Yah, it was awesome. [eyeroll]
But now that I have had some time to think and stew about it, the rehearsal also didn’t go as bad as I originally thought. (Yes, JZ, JD and JER, I know, I know.) It wasn’t great, but that is OK. I mean, I am learning, right? The first time I drew a portrait, it looked like balls. And now I am a fucking superstar when it comes to my portrait work. Maybe with some time, patience, listening and more learning, I will improve. And perhaps, maybe, just maybe, I would be willing to try it again. (Who am I kidding? I will try it again. I am a masochist.) It really was a valuable learning experience for me.
In hindsight, the three things I took away from it:
- 1. All of the Directors I have worked with are/were Performers. Like ALL of them. I couldn’t even think of a single Director that I have worked with that didn’t also perform at some point. This is a huge realization that I had in the shower this morning. They have a very special insight into how this directing thing works because they have been on the opposite end and have a greater understanding of the Actor brain/process. I am coming into this thing not truly understanding either so it will likely take me a lot longer to process and learn.
- 2. Come to rehearsal prepared. Overprepare if you have to. I thought I understood the scene and I thought I was prepared. But I really, really wasn’t. I should have taking much more time preparing and understanding what I wanted to get out of the scene.
- 3. Ask Questions and Pay Attention. I am in a great situation where I am/will be the Assistant Director to two really awesome Directors and two even more awesome humans. After yesterday, I didn’t really have a strategy for what I am doing as an Assistant Director. I pay attention in rehearsal, but I don’t ask questions when I don’t understand something or I don’t try to figure out where all of the ideas come from. I need to be more engaged in the learning process. Hell, maybe even a bit obnoxious. (You have been warned JZ and CB!) Learning is an active process – my artwork has taught me that time and time again – so I need to start being more active as a mentee.
I blocked my first scene, it sucked, but that’s ok. And I will probably do it again.