09 October, 2006

unblocked blocking

I currently have a Word document open in which I have pretty much typed out every move I'm making onstage during my aria. Except that it hasn't been performed this way for the director-yet. That comes tomorrow morning. The first blocking day was ...interesting....

Ok, so I had an idea about the "character". I mean, really, this is not such a character- it's a doll people. In the past I've played it as a few things, but most successfully, a ragdoll (making total body convulsions and head shaking possible), and also somewhat of a conscious character in terms of "uh oh! musically something is about to go wrong with my springs right now, I wonder what it is! Oh no! My arm is twitching! and there goes my head..." etc. etc. So my facial expression has changed from plastered smile to "uh oh" doll, and I've basically been very "loose" in a controlled manner to try to make an effect (successful as far as I'm told and reviewed and ...) that I'm a really funny doll that breaks down a lot.

Weeeelllll... welcome to different and new production. I'm now expressionless (really, just a doll), have no idea why or how things go wrong with me, most of my movements are more mechanical, come from the waist instead of the whole body. Long story short, I felt completely bare in the first staging in terms of having to get up there, sing it with the eye on the conductor, and then out of the corner of my eye watch the director who is blocking it according to their vision, yet hadn't really made clear what they wanted yet.

By the end of it I was sweating, and also frustrated at how challenging it is each time to adapt something that is so normal for you, to someone else's idea. I've had to repeat roles before (this one included), but never has it been such different body work, which then translates into different feeling of support while singing. I have time to get this in my body. I have time to convince myself that this character and this blocking will work for me. I have time to get it into my voice while moving differently and breathing differently. I have time for everything- which is the greatest part of this challenge.

I think mentally there is also a challenge of liking it "this" way, or selling it "this" way and feeling like it will work just as well as 'before'. It's funny how one wouldn't really think I have to come up with a character for the doll, but watching youtube and google videos and anything I can get my hands on of famous performances and stagings of this, you can go from vixendoll to kidsister doll to divadoll to robotdoll.

I think for this one my costume is definitely femmebot/showgirl. So I need to figure out how to mechanically incorporate the technical moves into femmebot moves. Anyone have an Austin Powers netflix I can borrow?
It will involve hips, and a very wide stance (also something that is worth a later posting- POSTURE when you sing).


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Look at it this way: the director has given you permission to be technical! So all you have to do is sing. I wouldn't even worry about "character" in a staging like this (which is also the way I have performed the role). The movements will become second nature soon, and then you can just focus all that extra energy on your instrument.

I think this staging is easier to incorporate than the ones that have Olympia turning cartwheels and doing the splits, etc.!