Rumors Control, Week 4: Is This How Mark Valley Got Started?

You won’t rest until I’m up there on that stage, will you?


It’s my fault, of course.

Since I wrote that blog about my acting class, some three years ago, she has concluded that I have some manner of secret desire to be an actor.  I’ve tried to dissuade her, but she persists nonetheless.

I suppose it doesn’t exactly help my case that I’ve enjoyed my ‘onstage’ moments as much as I have.  Which brings us back to Rumors.

As promised last week, Peter and Louisette rejoined us with this week’s rehearsals, and picked up right where we left off (with the last part of Act I and the first part of Act II).  Though they haven’t been in the room with us, it’s clear that they were working on their characters right along with the rest of the cast.  And of course I have to mention Chadd’s direction.  I first saw it on Dating Danielle, and I’m seeing even more of it here – I’m really and consistently impressed with his ability to guide actors to the kind of performance the play needs.

With each reading, the dialogue and blocking are coming together, the pace is picking up, and the intensity of the laughter is building.  And bear in mind that this is just from what we’ve seen taking place in our office.  Think about what it’ll look like on a proper stage.

Meanwhile, my own adventure in acting continued this week.  With Barry not scheduled to arrive until later in the week, and Charles unable to attend on Tuesday, I stepped in to read their lines for that day.  Of course, it hadn’t quite occurred to me that Ernie and Lenny have to interact with each other during the scenes we were rehearsing, which led to some rather… interesting moments as I tried to keep up with myself.  That might be worth an attempt at a script.

It only got better on Thursday, as we worked on the physical comedy of the play.  Although much of the comedy in Rumors arises from dialogue, there are a few pratfalls along the way, including one for Nikki/Chris that closes the first act.  Given that it is a fall we’re talking about (albeit a controlled one), Nikki and Chadd spent some time at the end of rehearsals practicing.  Eventually I was called in to demonstrate the basic mechanics of a stage fall.

It almost goes without saying that I have very little formal training in stuntwork or stage combat.  (By “very little”, of course, I mean “absolutelynonewhatsoever”.)  But somehow I managed to pull it off.  Bear in mind, I’m not saying I’m ready to step in for a fight scene on Human Target, but I might have found another skill to add for that I’m-not-an-actor-I-swear résumé.

And so continues my theatrical odyssey.  Next week should be fun, as we’ll have our first rehearsals at the Carver, so while we’re still getting details in order for the set, we’ll have a chance to work within our actual performance space and feed on the energy there.

For my part, I have no plans to try my hand on that stage.  But I get the feeling certain individuals may have other ideas…

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