Character & Scene

Last night was a trip. Jim had a few people come in to work on scenes: Bob, Kevin H, Adrienne, Susan, and me. (Am I missing anyone?)

Sitting on the floor, watching the others work, hearing Jim breathe a deeper, more coordinated life into characters, was a beautiful thing to observe. While we all know OUR motivations and worries, the director’s vision is the one that counts–it turns isolated characters into related beings. Last night, because of the skill of the actors and the clarity of JIm’s vision, I could sit there and watch this process happen before my eyes.

I thought about acting classes, particularly in college, where the teacher tried to do this. I never saw the magic then. In most plays, this process happens so early in the rehearsal phase that you can’t see the characters meld so rapidly as they did last night.

Then it came my turn to work what has been an uncomfortable scene with Bob and Adrienne. In seconds, it seems, Jim filled in all of my blanks, answered my questions that hadn’t been asked, added layers of relationships that I’d never imagined. I put myself in the audience and realized that, if we do our jobs as actors, the people who come to see Pippin next week are in for a heck of a show. Kevin, Susan, Adrienne, and Bob incarnated Jim’s ideas in mere seconds. I hope I can keep up with them.