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Ain’t nobody got time for that

Sweet Brown will tell you, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Those were the guiding words during our rehearsal for The Lookout. Before I tell you who Sweet Brown is, and why she didn’t have time for that (whatever that is), let me first tell you of some good news!

After some time away from touching anything JUST LIKE THAT related- I’m back on track with getting my short film finished. I mentioned in a previous post that Joel and I had completed a first rough cut, but I went ahead and finished up my own short piece of JLT related media. I happened across a gem-of-a-clip that I couldn’t help but share. Watch it here!

Now, where were we? Oh yes, rehearsal.

It wouldn’t be the Bench Project without a bench- and as you might have already noticed (or not?), there’s a bench featured in all seven of the short plays in the festival. In Dodging Bullets, the bench serves as the character’s cover in the woods while on a scouting mission.

In The Lookout, the bench has returned to its normal use- something to be sat on. It feels great to be working in piece that feels just outside of my comfort zone. And for it to be back-to-back (sort of) with the Captain role- boy, what a treat!

There are a couple of challenges that presented itself after our read through. One was that my character, D-Stack, has a particular manner of speaking. He’s a street hustler, and one with a particular job within his “community”. With that said, I tried to be mindful of not falling trap to being a caricature of some urbanite dealing with the street sorts. For that I am thankful to both the playwright (Jake) and Director (Gina) for communicating the levels of streetness that work.

Director, Gina and actor, Sara testing the integrity of the rehearsal bench…wobble wobble…

The text itself presented a challenge. It wasn’t enough that I’m going to be speaking in a particular cadence, but the words on the page reflected that and to tie them both together while making strong choices was much like rubbing your belly while patting yourself on the head…while moonwalking. With that said, I definitely feel its within my realm to be able to (because, I can, in fact performing a moonwalk…while patting myself on the head, and rubbing my belly). But it takes some warming up, or, in the case of The Lookout- rehearsal.

Warming up and massaging. Massaging the text. The text likes that. The text likes to be massaged. (Only slightly creepy, right?)

On this go around, all three cast members were present and it was so nice to be able to hear the entire revised piece out loud. And even more fantastic that we were up on our feet and experimenting with blocking.

This is my second time working with Sara on a piece and I have to say, the experience has been increasingly enjoyable. It’s fun watching her find her character- to hear and feel the choices being made. There’d be no way for me to objectively (and effectively) eavesdrop on myself- what would be the point? – but it’s always nice watching cast mates navigate.

Sara and I, back in May 2012- working on The Cruel Continuous Cycle of Male/Female Relationships in Six Scenes

We’re back for round II!

Kelvyn brought a neat vibe to the mix- watching him evolve his character over the brief period of time we were able to work was a treat. There are moments in the script where I’m afforded an opportunity to just sit back and watch; What a treat treat treat!

We have two more scheduled rehearsals before this Saturday’s tech run-through (geez, where does the time go?!) and the real challenge is already clawing at my innards. That challenge comes in the form of memorizing the script. I’m affording myself no excuse to not memorize it, but it’s moments like this that I wish for two things: 1) Cloning machine and/or 2) More hours in the day…okay and 3) Pie. I love pie. It helps me think.

I guess I’ll just have pie.

I don’t like the idea of leaving you with lingering thoughts of pie, so, let me finish what I had to say about Sweet Brown, and why she was so important. Earlier during the rehearsal evening, a video was shared and that video was one of a viral feel called Sweet Brown. I’ll let it do the talking.

And here’s a BONUS for you. The auto-tuned (and righteously kick ass version, I might add) stylings:

What are some techniques you’ve used to help you through ‘crunch time’ memorizations? I’d love to hear your tips, experiences and/or general comments. Feel free to leave them below, or tweet me at: Follow @tasialabastro

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