Okay, you caught me. I didn't write yesterday. I had stuff to say - worded it beautifully as I fell asleep and never got it written down. And now, of course, I don't remember any of it! I do remember that I confessed to the cast that I was having second thoughts about allowing their characters to become quite so sensitive and vulnerable. Was I ignoring the Israeli aspect to them? They said they were comfortable with the direction their characters were going - and we agreed to see where things led. The last part of the show is perhaps the most explosive. But as they went through it, with tender, heart-felt emotion - I knew I was wrong - or maybe that I was right. How else could this story be told in a meaningful way? The whole essence would be lost if they blustered their way through. They have found a deepness and richness to the characters that surprised me - in a very positive way. I started this morning by telling them they had assuaged any misgivings I had. That I was confident we were on the right path. Now, to get even deeper!
This is the scariest part for actors, I believe. (you can stop reading now, Eric). I thought Lesley took giant steps forward today. In her attempts to make Hannah nervous, she had actually made her timid. I simply reminded her to relax, to use her arms and body more, and to remember she was a strong Jewish woman. During one of our breaks she had mentioned that someone called her an "iron butterfly" - I was set to tell her to add a layer of the "iron" when we did Act 1 today, but suddently it was all there! I didn't have to say a word. The energy was electric - she had taken control of the Act.
Eric has done most of his work in Classical theatre - such as Shakespeare. There the language is melodic and rhythmic. It's easy to get into patterns, which work great in classics, but are a bit less sincere in contemporary theatre. He has such a wonderful voice and a commanding presence, that he would be just fine as is - but I think I can push him a little more - not without some resistance on his part - but that's fine too.
This is the point in the process where we will fine tune, question, argue, and finally come to understandings about things. It can be tricky. But in the end, we should have a stellar production.
And so it goes