February 26, 2013
Well that went well! Press night was amazing and now we're practically sold out. It's a nice feeling. Every show from now on will have a full house watching it.
We've worked quite hard for it too. The technical rehearsals were quite laborious and we've drilled each scene change to death. Understudy rehearsals are of course well under way and we have our understudy run on Tuesday 26 February.
There's a line in the play, 'It's easy for a great man to get lost in the world of the stars, which is so very vast.'
The same thing applies when you have a play in front of you and the possibilities are endless as to how you're going to present it.
Good directors have a sort of sixth sense that allows them to navigate through the quagmire of possibilities. I've loved working with Roxana again. She always seems to run a very relaxed rehearsal room and we always end up having fun.
Everyone is tired but everyone is smiling too. I can't tell you how rare that is. It's very easy to tell people what to do. It's another thing entirely to get people to do it of their own volition. The very best directors manage that.
Roxanna leaves the RSC to become Artistic Director of Birmingham Rep. Very well deserved. I find myself feeling very proud to be in a season that is comprised of Greg Doran's first show as Artistic Director, Michael Boyd's last as artistic director and Roxana Silbert's last with the RSC. What will this season be my last or first of I wonder? First time I played a particular type of part? Last time I ever worked? Shudder....
I should explain. There is something every working actor has to deal with at approximately this point in the season. When there are about five or six weeks left on a particular contract, we get what is commonly known in acting circles as 'The Fear.'
Just when you start to assume the job will last forever, Boom! The fear strikes.
'What will I do next?' 'I need to line up another job!'
'I need to be auditioning.'
'I'm never going to work again. That's it. I can feel it. Yup. Yes. I'm not going to work for another two years...'
'Please give me a job - I'll do anything.'
It's horrible. We're all seasoned and used to it so you won't find actors shaking in a corner but we do constantly go up to one another to check if they're auditioning. Looking for the green light to call our agents.
Fire the lot of them if they're not capitalizing on the fact that we're currently employed. It's so silly but that's 'the fear' for you. The older more experienced actors are a constant source of reassurance. 'Nah, I haven't been up for anything but I'm not going to worry about that for at least another four weeks.'
Brilliant. That's what I'll do then. It's times like these that I remind myself to focus on the here and now. Life's too short and right now I'm working for what I believe are the greatest, most wonderful people in my field.
Tomorrow can wait a couple more weeks.
by Youssef Kerkour
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