Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Two Thursdays ago, a girl I work with said innocently "oooh, Claire, it's not long 'til your Fringe show, is it?" 
First, I looked at her like she was mad. 
Then I realised with sinking heart that in simple week terms, it was not long until my Fringe show.
It's funny how time slows to a creep and yet goes faster than the rest of the year in the run up to a show.
At one level, every day is a stupendous juggling match (me vs. everything I might forget) so the minutes tick by, replete with the possibility of calamity. Like hauling a child through from Paisley for a non-existent rehearsal. Or - you know - forgetting to do something I'm actually paid for doing. 
And then there's the constant paranoia (some sort of symptom of getting old? Or bitter experience?) that people won't turn up for rehearsals (so many new people in this cast!). That someone will pull out of the show. That someone will not do what they're meant to do and it'll become mine to sort out at the eleventh hour when I don't have an eleventh hour in the day. 
So whilst at some level, time creeps, at the same time, there isn't nearly enough of it. Never enough to do all the things I need to do Before The Show. 
Totting it up, after this girl's casual comment, I realised that although the rehearsal schedule was still three pages long, this was only actually because the cast is so big - so there are so many names against every rehearsal that the schedule seems endless. But in reality, there were - at this point - a precious seven weeks to go. Seven and a half if you were being generous. 
And I realised two Thursdays ago that I had no costumes, set or props. No gobo. Oh and Neil needs somewhere to store the instruments in the venue. And oh - the cast want to see the venue. And oh - half of them still haven't paid their membership fees so please don't any of you unpaid ones break a leg before you've paid us and decide to sue us. And oh my good heavens I still need to put together a programme which will be like The Most Mammoth Task. 
So then I get back to this state of brinkmanship. How long do you leave it before you start to nervously, sweetly, follow up on the things that you hoped people were doing? Is there a way to ask if people think they really will come to the rest of the rehearsals because we kind of really need you there. And people take HOLIDAYS of course. And I have this irritating but longed for holiday. (Only a week - it'll be fine! Right?) 
And batting around in your head like a claustrophobic moth is the hollow laugh echoing after the hollow and desperate cry: "this is meant to be fun!"
Deep breath.
(Since two Thursdays ago, I've seen the most beautiful costume designs, I have shot glasses (v important!), I might have palm trees, I have additional help with lights (thanks, Andy), I have a venue visit, I might have a locked cupboard for musical instruments.  Best of all, we have a trumpet!! The best shows are made up of baby steps. Right?)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

This surely deserves a caption competition.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I think the word is infatuated. 

I am infatuated with my cast.

One of them went for a job interview on Tuesday and I kept wanting to email him to find out how he got on but kept reminding myself that he has known me for only two minutes so might think it creepy and strange. 

Another week's rehearsals under our belt and they continue to delight me. Whether obligingly pranking around in my endless 'let's not be frightened by Shakespeare' exercises or my (also endless) 'getting to know you' escapades, whether writing letters to their loves or just simply, you know, rehearsing the scenes, they are kind and punctual and enthusiastic and sweet and just generally delightful.  

I have made (at least) one appalling mistake already. Various circumstances conspired to abandon a band rehearsal on Tuesday. I managed to inform most of the people that they were no longer needed. But I failed - the most substantial failure of all - to let 15 year old Moth know. She travels through from - not just the other side of Edinburgh but miles and miles and miles away in - Paisley! My face must have been a picture of horror when she walked in - as I all I could think was PAISLEY.

She was very forgiving. To my face

So my slapdash habits, careless and buffoonery aside, everything is going swimmingly. 

Long (did I say this last week?) (I did) (how dull) may it last. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The mechanicals, getting to grips with who's who.

I'm currently hopelessly in love with my cast. 
Here they are pranking around at rehearsals. 
To date (I mean, we're only four proper rehearsals in beyond the read through), they're on time. Ridiculously punctual in many cases. Which means pathetically large brownie points for me. 
They're friendly, receptive to my crazy ideas ("will you just stand on the table?" "Sure." "Will you just make like a wall in between them and stop them getting to each other?" "Sure."), diligent (some ALREADY learning their lines), interested in the story and the script, emailing me asking me for homework, emailing me with costume sizes without the provocation of repeat nagging, offering to COME TO EXTRA REHEARSALS.
This last obviously scores the most brownie points of all.
Where I started out, I'll admit, with pretty ambivalent feelings about this "daft wee play", I'm starting to see the entirety of the human condition encapsulated in it. Well, that's maybe an exaggeration but there's lots going on that's interesting beyond some foolish fairies and Shakespeare's classic comedy fallback, mistaken identity. 
To which credit should mostly go to my cast, of course. (And Liz.) 
Long may it last.  
Lysander, Demetrius and Helena, torn betwixt them.