Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bettering myself

With four rehearsals to go, I wanted to make sure I set aside time to categorize all my rehearsal notes. This way I can make connections and see progress as well as remind myself of the areas I need to work on in order to better myself at this craft called "acting."

Areas for improvement:

  • Early in rehearsals I had a tendency to rush through beats. At one point Heather called this "cutting myself off."
    • Now, I have slowed my rate of speech, but I still need to make sure my thought transitions are there.  I have a lot of specific transition notes; Miss Fischer has many calculated thought shifts. I need to make sure I give those thoughts time and let the audience see them develop as well as make sure they are connected to the thought that precedes it and follows it. 
  • In monologues, I can play with different tones (anger, humor, etc).  I have tried to infuse some anger in certain moments as an experiment, but I think I'll back off my anger in the line: "Purchased. At astronomical prices through Kanweiler and Rosenberg."  Having too much anger at this line throughs the following lines out of sync for me, so I think I'll tone it down a little, though it will probably still color the line.
  • Blocking: I must learn to stop upstaging myself. 
  • Picasso's insults: Find a way to respond to them.  
  • Physical commentary (blanching): No "musical theater" acting (no offense, GCP)! Acknowledge Picasso's actions and then choose to ignore them. This is much stronger, and less "Chelsea"
  • I look down or away too often. If I must look away I should choose a specific place to focus so the audience can see my thoughts and reactions.
  • Stand up straight... no sunken, defeated shoulders!

Questions to consider:

  1. Will she or wont she what?
  2. How is Miss Fischer's suffering informing her actions?
  3. What is Miss Fischer's greatest secret? 


  1. Mark off the beats/tactic changes.
  2. Where there is significant blocking, mark what the objective is, using this form:  I am _____ you or I want to ______ you.
  3. Later I actually used the Actors' Thesaurus to specify the action verb for these objective shifts.
  4. In some sort of short hand, mark in the margins when your character has the upper hand, is gaining the upper hand and has lost the upper hand.
  5. Watch some 1940s films with strong female leads like Barbara Stanwyck and Betty Davis.


  1. I cannot decide if it is disturbing or encouraging to see my directing style so well organized succinctly conveyed. So, I'll go with encouraging. Possibly even flattering. ;-)

  2. Well, when I was writing this I thought, "someone is definitely going to steal these HW assignments and character questions for their future production of "a Picasso." :-) Sadly, I had to cut out my favorite specific parts just because those who haven't read the script would have no idea what I was writing about.