Ah, the process.
I am, by nature, impatient. This charming quality was flat out inherited; it is not by choice. When I need to walk, I walk FAST. When I'm going on a jog, I RUN. I don't take this to an obnoxious extreme, particularly when other people are involved. But it is something that bubbles up: an underlying anxiety to "get there." Where? In this case, to the finished product. To opening night, essentially.
Unfortunately this quality doesn't marry well with the process, which is perhaps what acting is all about. It is ever-evolving. Even after a show opens, it continues to morph and develop. It never really....arrives. Thus, for me, the rehearsal process is a constant mental negotiation. I need to remind myself that what we do on our feet the first day is not a performance. I need to remind myself to step back and make sure I am being open to possible discoveries, possible moments begging to be acknowledged, and thus created. That is what makes rehearsal FUN: it is the place to play and discover and PLAY and have FUN! Have FUN Sarah, have FUN!
It is so odd to use this term for the rehearsal of something like King Lear. But it really does happen. The moment you begin to find something, an inkling of who your character really is, a sense of what an exchange with another character might be, even realizing how your shoes or coat may affect you....it starts to be fun.
Anyway, these have been my thoughts lately in the rehearsal room. Watching Anthony Fusco create his Fool has been particularly inspiring in this regard. Each stab at a scene is done differently; he finds new ways to make use of the stage and scenery. And he's smart and funny. Which makes rehearsal quite entertaining.
Another striking thought while watching rehearsal: the carving-out of a play. (Please bear with me a moment as I digress into a maddening swell of thoughts that even I find exhausting.) Each second of each rehearsal, a possible choice can be made. A move of the head might communicate one thing. The choice to sit, another. There are billions of directions to take a character, a line, a response. And with this specific cast, with our specific director and designers, in this specific moment in time and in this place, we will create OUR King Lear. It could be anything, and yet, through our process we will carve out our very own sculpture to present to you, dear readers. This always fascinates me.
And of course, every good sculpture requires patience. I guess the process is good for some things.