Today is monumental in so many ways! Having been preparing for tomorrow's first preview, along with knowing that today is the day of my parents' remarriage, I woke up to news that my youngest brother had his first child. Wow, right?!? Needless to say, I am ELATED to the point of combustion! What a way to start the day!
To top it all off, tonight was our final dress rehearsal for Kill Move Paradise, and it could not have felt more electric, in that time and space. Mind, you there was only a select number of guests who were able to get a sneak peek of the show. I have and will always believe that the audience is a crucial character in a show. Even if the fourth wall is not broken, there is something about the energy that emits from an audience that ignites the space in a whole new way. I can only imagine what a full audience will be like! Stay tuned, more to come! Until very soon...
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DAY 1. We have accomplished a helluva lot over the last two and a half weeks of rehearsal; now comes the fun part. TECH *cue the suspense strike*. No matter how much I love what I do, especially when it comes to Theatre - and I absolutely looove what I do - I can never seem to get through tech week without getting antsy. Having full understanding of its purpose, necessity and benefit, I still melt in place with the constant holding, starting and stopping, rewind, repeat, re-stage... You get my drift. By no means is this a complaint, but rather a healthy observation of my anticipation of performing before an audience.
Today's tech actually went by pretty fast, and we achieved quite a bit, considering how tech-heavy this show really is. To know that today was only a half-day is already putting me in the proper mindset to utilize every millisecond of time that I may not be needed on-stage during the course of tomorrow. It is no longer about remembering lines and blocking; there are layers upon layers of ideas, movement, intentions and justifications that I am confident we will discover anew every night we perform.
I can go on and on about how proud I am and how much of an honor it is to be a part of such an adventurous Cast and Crew. We all have stepped up to the plate and poured our everything into our specific fields, and the way it has come together, already, is completely mind-blowing. This is without a doubt one of those productions that feels so right, I wish I could step outside myself and see it. And the fact that we embody the familial element makes this process all the more rewarding. The only ego is the Stage itself, 'cause it is one baaaad.. you get my drift.
I'm on my old man tonight, because we're putting in a 12-hr day tomorrow. That means that by 1am, I need to be in bed, resting with the script under my pillow - judge me not - and the music/sounds going on the playlist to put me where I need to be in the morning. I am reminded daily that while Kill Move Paradise is a journey of Healing, we as Actors still have to be willing to go through the fire to meet those in search of and in need of that healing so that by the end of every performance, at least one person has a better way of coping and persevering through the world around us. Stay tuned in the meantime, there is more to come.
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Today was my first day off, having completed week #1 of rehearsals for James Ijames' Kill Move Paradise, and I am beat DOWN! What a week it has been; a productively gratifying one!! Already, this is proving to be a journey of true self-discovery, as every person involved is being called upon to step onto a whole new level of expression and storytelling. From the Designers to the Director, to the Cast and even the Theatre Company, we are exploring a dynamic level of newness into which James has so exquisitely summoned us to arrive, through his words and Vision. Plus, this Cast isn't just a Cast; these are my Brothers. We are Kings who have come together with like minds and spirits. The process is truly a beautiful one. I can't wait for Monday to roll around, so we can jump back into it.
Speaking of excitement, I had the opportunity to see a production of Twelfth Night, also directed by KMP's Director, Saheem Ali. I could not stop laughing, it was so phenomenally hilarious. Its genius was even more prominent by the fact that it is a part of The Public Theater's Mobile Unit Program, which means the set is only painted through the imagination. The way the Players brought their world to ours was impressive beyond words and made me wish I were able to see the show so much sooner, just so I can see it again. Yup, 'twas that great! So much so that I almost resented the fact that this evening's performance of Much Ado About Nothing was cancelled - due to the constant rain today. I was eager to bring some new discoveries to Claudio. Ah, that'll make tomorrow's performance that much more invigorating for me.
For now, I'll use the time tonight to dive back in to the script for KMP so that I can be as off-book as possible. The less I have to wonder about or second-guess my lines, the more I can play in the world that has been created. Perhaps I should warn my roomies? Naaaah, they're used to my in-practice antics. Until soon!!
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Donnell E. Smith