Jason Tatom has previously appeared in EXPOSED, the SCRIPT-IN-HAND SERIES and a coupla SLAMs for Plan-B. He plays the Fool in LADY MACBETH.
Okay, we just finished the second week of LADY MACBETH rehearsal. Or, as I like to call it, the “I hope I’m still funny” week. I like to compare the three weeks of rehearsal to dating. The first week, everything is fresh and new. There are mysteries to uncover. You find out what you and the rest of the cast, and even the play, have in common. It’s easy to keep up a sense of play, and everything that everyone does is charming and adorable. The whole week has a sort of glossy, happy, but completely artificial sentimental haze around it. It’s kind of like every close up of Cybill Shepherd in that old TV series MOONLIGHTING. Those of you old enough to remember will know exactly what I’m talking about. And those of you who aren’t old enough…Just put your head down on your desk and sit quietly. I feel old enough as it is.
The third week is much like a couple in a committed relationship. The puppy love has burned away, and you realize the work that it takes to maintain the relationship. And for the most part, you’re up to it. You’ve known each other long enough to see trouble coming, and head it off if you can. If you can’t, you’re a team. You can handle it together.
But that second week…Oy. That’s when all of the heavy lifting happens. Those places in the script that killed just a few days ago don’t seem to get the response they used to. “Is it me? Am I not as funny and talented as I thought I was? Nahhh, that’s just crazy talk. It’s totally them.” You start to fear that you’re just not smart enough to be in this play. Any second now they’ll realize you don’t know what you’re doing, and let you go. You stumble around the stage for the first time without the safety blankey of the script in your hand; trying to remember your words, where you stand, where you move, and who you’re supposed to be talking to. And if you’re feeling really cocky, you might just try to make that random assortment of words tumbling out of your mouth make some sort of sense. But, if you hang in there, and the week progresses, things start to get better. After working a scene you may have the opportunity to say to yourself, “Hey! That went well. I remembered like 75% of my words. Plus, I didn’t knock anything over this time!”
That’s the beauty of the second week. Thing get better because you put the work in. As a team, you made it better. You stop worrying about yourself, and start connecting with all of the talented people out there with you. You start to realize “Oh, that’s what that means! That’s why I say what I say later in the show. Okay.” And I can tell you, if you’re lucky enough to be a part of a cast as talented as this one, you thank your lucky stars. Take my word for it, these folks got game. Don’t believe me? Come see for yourself.
So, that’s essentially what the second week is. You start it with only the slightest idea of what you’re doing. But after some hard work, cursing, and in my case, copius amounts of sweat, you come out with the framework for one hell of a show. Bring it on week three. We can handle it.