Author Topic: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal  (Read 3572 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bex

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 298
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
  • Affiliations: AEA, Auburn University
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM/ASM
  • Experience: Professional
Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« on: Aug 23, 2015, 07:23 pm »
I am starting rehearsals this week for a site-specific audience-integrative piece and I'm wondering if anyone has some advice. I've done audience-integrative theater before but not like this. The show is basically a walking tour with 2 actors and 10 audience members. We'll be rehearsing in the venue, thank goodness, but I'm a bit at a loss for how to physically take blocking notes. I have a map of the venue that I've turned into a slip sheet, that's not the issue.

My problem is that I'm literally going to be following these actors/director around a public space during rehearsal, dodging random people, going up stairs, through doors, etc. as we set blocking. I'm imagining juggling a binder and a notepad and it's just not going to work. Laptop is out of the question, obviously. Has anyone else ever run a mobile rehearsal? How did you take notes? How did you stay on book while you were en route?

The script is only 13 pages long, so I may just bite the bullet, say forget about my slip sheets, and put the whole thing on a clipboard, but I'd really like to be able to mark on the map of the venue where we are when we pause for each section of dialogue, which direction they're facing, etc. The venue is also INCREDIBLY humid (we're performing in a botanical garden) so I'm also a little worried about my script just basically turning into mush, but I'm not sure there's anything I'll be able to do about that.
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

loebtmc

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go ó†and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #1 on: Aug 24, 2015, 02:50 am »
Old school paperwork. A clipboard or the script in a small binder. Use the individual floor maps as your set for the groundplan you take blocking on. And find shorthands for the most common movements. Look up those on the site who've done environmental/site specific pieces cuz that's what this is.

EFMcMullen

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #2 on: Aug 24, 2015, 08:42 am »
I've never done site specific, but with a 13 page script could you turn the script so the page is running horizontally, put the script on one half of the page, diagram on the other half of the page?  Then use sheet protectors for humidity, write with Sharpie,  (It can be erased by a dry erase marker) and clipped to a clipboard?

bex

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 298
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
  • Affiliations: AEA, Auburn University
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM/ASM
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #3 on: Aug 24, 2015, 05:25 pm »
I've never done site specific, but with a 13 page script could you turn the script so the page is running horizontally, put the script on one half of the page, diagram on the other half of the page?  Then use sheet protectors for humidity, write with Sharpie,  (It can be erased by a dry erase marker) and clipped to a clipboard?

Turning the script sideways might work! That way I would have script and slip sheet on one page instead of 2, and could just use a clipboard. I'm worried about pages falling out of a binder as I'm walking, having to balance it one-handed to write, etc.
« Last Edit: Aug 24, 2015, 05:27 pm by bex »
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

megf

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Former SM
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #4 on: Aug 25, 2015, 02:26 pm »
The landscape page orientation sounds like a great solution!

Some additional ideas:

-Can you video portions of rehearsal, and cull necessary details from the footage?

-Can you get a legal-size clipboard (keep using letter size paper, though), and slap a big post-it pad on the far edge of the board? Seems like fast and messy notes will be your friend, here :)

Sounds like fun!

PSMKay

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://www.smnetwork.org
  • Affiliations: None.
  • Current Gig: SMNetwork *is* my production.
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #5 on: Aug 25, 2015, 03:13 pm »
Maybe one of those contractors' clipboards with the added compartment for papers might be of use here. Tape one of those silica gel packets that come with new shoes to the inside to help absorb the humidity.

BenTheStageMan

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
  • Gender: Male
  • Sometimes all you need in life is a little Blue.
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Olney Theatre Center, Olney MD
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #6 on: Aug 25, 2015, 03:52 pm »
It might be too much work, but you could take mobile, messy notes, and later transfer them into a standard script.  One that can be referenced outside of the space, if needed, safe from the humidity.  I love the contractor clipboard too.
"Show people are doomed!  Doomed to a life of booze...and pills...and heavy meals late at night!" -Judy, "Ruthless!"

bex

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 298
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
  • Affiliations: AEA, Auburn University
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM/ASM
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #7 on: Aug 25, 2015, 04:21 pm »
Maybe one of those contractors' clipboards with the added compartment for papers might be of use here. Tape one of those silica gel packets that come with new shoes to the inside to help absorb the humidity.

I already have a contractors'-style clipboard, adding a silica gel packet makes sense!

You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

KMC

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Current Gig: Project Manager, Systems Integration
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #8 on: Aug 25, 2015, 05:23 pm »
How about wearing a GoPro to record the rehearsal and reference with your notes?  Looks like there are some used ones on eBay for under $100.
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

Likes:


bex

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 298
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
  • Affiliations: AEA, Auburn University
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM/ASM
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Blocking notation for a mobile rehearsal
« Reply #9 on: Sep 18, 2015, 06:07 pm »
Now that the show is open, after a whirlwind 2 weeks of rehearsal including "tech," I guess I'll let you all know how my blocking went-
I went with EFMcMullen's suggestion of putting the script and slip sheet onto one page, landscape oriented, and putting that on a contractor's clipboard. It worked pretty brilliantly! I had enough space to take the loose blocking this show requires (it's so difficult to explain... basically a walking tour/scavenger hunt of a botanic garden with 2 actors & 12 audience members? and it's about time travel? and for children?) and it wasn't too bulky to carry around with me.

The humidity wasn't as much of an issue as I had thought it would be. I did not use sheet protectors, and my pages are... more wrinkled than I would prefer, but ultimately fine and totally legible.

Rehearsing on your feet is exhausting, and it is HOT inside a greenhouse (thanks Captain Obvious). It is as hot, if not hotter, than it is outside, plus literally 100% humidity at all times, which is not exactly pleasant when it's 90 degrees outside. We would all troop en masse back to the one air-conditioned room in the building during breaks, which meant we essentially couldn't take a 5- the break would be over by the time we got there. I just wish it had been easier to lug my water bottle around with me; investing in one of those dorky straps might have been the way to go.

And now we're in performances with 9 shows a day (weekends only, praise be to Dionysus)! It's a theater marathon!

You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

Likes:


Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
16300 Views
Last post Sep 29, 2012, 06:17 pm
by Maribeth
3 Replies
2328 Views
Last post May 30, 2012, 05:55 pm
by lnwijangco
6 Replies
3191 Views
Last post Nov 23, 2012, 09:28 pm
by BayAreaSM

riotous