Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Heart Week Three

Contributed by Guest Blogger of the Week, Christine O’Grady

I'm about to enter my favorite part of the rehearsal process: Week Three. I LOVE Week Three. 95% of my choreography is up on its feet, and now it's time to finesse, make funny with the actors, and clarify the storytelling. I always feel a huge sense of relief when I get to this point. For me, the rough draft is always the hardest part, and once I get past the first pass, the fun begins. If I remember correctly this is the opposite of how I used to feel. I used to love "making it up" but have trouble with being tough on myself and throwing old ideas away. Now I feel liberated when I cut that move that's been gumming up the works or giving the actors trouble.

I'm currently working with an ensemble that has been so super diligent about drilling sequences and nailing the details, and I have a feeling that this is going to make this week even more enjoyable. It's so useful for me to sit back and see a clean presentation of what I have given them so far, rather than say, maybe when it's cleaned it will be what I'm looking for. We're also at a point where Cara, the director, can watch a sequence and say, "you know, I think the point we're missing is this...", or "you know what would be funny to include here...?"

I find that week three is one of the most collaborative. We've all had some time with the material, we have a pretty good sense of the style we're going for, and we still have a little distance from the pressure of tech week looming over our heads. I'm really looking forward to deepening the work we've accomplished thus far and seeing what kind of personal touches continue coming from the actors, and other people in the room. LOTS more work to do, but rather than trying to choreograph every moment of every song, this week I can agonize (in a good, productive way) over those moments that aren't quite landing yet. To me Week Three is "make the play better week" and no matter what show I'm doing this is always my favorite part. 

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