Author Topic: Rants: First Hard Show with Difficult Cast -- Please help  (Read 5857 times)

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Re: First Hard Show with Difficult Cast -- Please help
« Reply #15 on: Dec 11, 2006, 01:54 pm »
Reds, don't hide -- its okay.

To be very honest that is exactly what I have done with the show. During the rehearsal process I never questioned the director in front of the cast -- away from the cast I tried to keep it to hints and "suggested" schedules. It was only as the show got closer to opening (and we are talking a hand full of days) -- with pressure from the design team and the AD as well as the cast that I started to slightly lose it. The only time I EVER questioned him was after our 2nd preview when he was changing the blocking of scene that he had changed before the show that night, and after the show the night before; it was 10:45pm and the cast looked like they were going to kill. In a whisper I said: "Could we possibly do this tomorrow evening at 6(pm)?" (curtain at 8pm). Oh the fire and hail I got, but really they didn't look like they were getting the blocking --  beating a dead horse as it were. I should mention here that we rehearsed 7 days a week for 3 weeks solid (except for Thanksgiving). 

The not caring: I'm speaking purely on a personal level. Everyone in this show has had to pour in so much time, money, and emotions to pull it off. Really only about 3 weeks of rehearsals (the month before barely anything was done because many of the cast members were out of the country). The Director taking on the jobs of directing, costumer, prop design, and (unnecessarily) the job of sound design (he would have done lights and sets I'm sure if he knew anything about them) -- he got over invested in the show and when I see people working really hard, I want to do the best I can so I got over invested. I didn't have to loss my day job over this. I didn't have to spend my days and nights trying to figure out how all of this was going to work.

I had no running crew or ASM. Just me. It's no biggie -- almost all of the shows I've done had no crew. But when something needed to be done -- who was going to do it? We had tech folks that looked after the lights and programed the sound and built the set but all the props and costumes (dear lord I have never seen a show with so many props and costume pieces that only have 9 actors.) The Director also made lots of big promises that in the end I would have to do/pick up/make/buy.

The call time issues wasn't an issue during rehearsal. Yes they were taken aback when I would call them and say "Hi there -- are you on your way?" But I only made a stink about when we got into Tech -- because I needed them. Then I got annoyed when they would get mad at me because they were late for a call time for a performance.

The cast needs time to warm up, get focus, do whatever they need to do to get centered for a demanding show (2 music numbers, death scene, love scene, fight scenes). I asked the Theatre Manager (my direct supervisor) and she told me the cast really need to be there an hour before the curtain. From everything that I have read and been told, its my job to at least know where the actors are if they are not in the theatre at Call. Also having the AD sitting in your house going "this is it?" at the turn out of your cast at call time -- is a little humbling.

So I pressed -- probably too hard for CT but some cast members don't show until 5-10 minutes after the house should have open (there is not a way to backstage except though the stage itself).

But I'm taking it better now. The cast has learned that all it takes to appease <insert whatever they call me here> is a phone call.
Except for the lead. He's "too good" to call. But I know he will be there and he usually is by half hour to curtain.

The last couple nights I have held the house and even warmed up their curlers for them.

This tardiness is also affecting the curtain time. The best line ever for getting along with late actors is "How much time do you need?" (said respectfully and without an attempt at pushing). It lets them know that I have to pull strings -- but for them...I can do it (well up to 5 minutes).

Thanks for the input -- its good to know that during the rehearsal process I was going things more or less as I should.


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