Today was my first day with the full cast of Superior Donuts. Yesterday, I ran 11 miles (yes, I had to get that in there), shopped, baked my first day of rehearsal cookies.
See, for every show I bake these dark chocolate chip cookies for the cast and whomever. As you know, I've been a little nervous about this show since I had to bag out of the fall production and I screwed up a bit on a show last year. I can't tell you how nice it was to hear people grab a cookie and remark: "Kate Hanley and her first day of rehearsal cookies, yum." By our first break, there wasn't a cookie left.
Oh, and the artistic director of the Arden sent me a nice e mail welcoming me back. Does a heart good, I tell ya.
It wasn't technically our first rehearsal since we've spent 3 days with just 2 of the actors. These are the actors upon whose shoulders most of the show rests. Good luck guys.
It's great to work with the leads first because I can get to know them and figure out what they need. The leads know the show rides on them somewhat, so getting to know their quirks early allows me the opportunity to head off any "drama". You know, the bad drama not the good drama. Sometimes all it takes is a little extra care and feeding. Sometimes it takes more than that but who wants to go there?
Anyway, the day started out well. At home, I got floors cleaned, dinner made, a checkbook reconciled, bills paid. All before I had to leave for rehearsal. Of course then I walked out to the car and realized I had forgotten my keys. Oddly, that gave me a bit of relief. I knew I couldn't be that efficient: who was this person and how could she be mopping the floor that quickly?
The cast is great. We worked today without one actor because the part hasn't been cast. Well, it's been cast but the actor had to drop out and then auditions had to be held and the contract negotiated. It's always something isn't it? We'll know tomorrow if we have another actor so stay tuned!
The bad part, if there is one, is that this director knows the show very well. I mentioned before that he was the dramaturg on the show since it's inception. He has great stories. None of which I feel I am able to share. I know: total buzz kill. So most directors spend a few days "at the table." Meaning, the cast and director sit around the table reading through the play and discussing what it means. In detail. In minutia sometimes. The director of this show, Edward Sobel, said that most directors do a lot of table work at the beginning so they can learn more about the play. But Mr. Sobel see, he already knows a lot about the show so he's not so much with the table work. So why is this bad? Well, I'll let you in on a secret. It's a great time for me to listen to the conversation and play Mah Jong on my laptop. But I guess I won't be doing that this time around.
But hey, I'm not complaining. It's a great script. I'm looking forward to see where it leads. Oh and, forgot to mention, it takes place at a donut shop (uh, in case you hadn't guessed) so what does that mean? Yeah, donuts, lots of donuts!