A while back, I posted a blog about our first read-throughs for "Greater Tuna," a production at Midland Community Theatre.
Back in December, I sat at a table with my co-star, Joe Thomason, along with director Carl Beery More and stage manager Doug Hart. In a show where Joe and I each play ten different characters, we needed those read-throughs in order to find ten distinct voices to use for those characters. You know that a show is going to be good when you're falling over with laughter just reading the script.
We've now begun actual rehearsals. This is where a lot of time, effort, and sweat is put in. When people see a live show, it is easy to forget about everything that went into creating that performance. When Joe and I walk into the rehearsal space, we began a process full of jargon, slight confusion, and (at times), wondering what we got ourselves into. It means less time at home, more time around each other, and lots of fast food. Five nights a week, Joe and I will have our nose to the theatrical grindstone. By the way, theatrical grindstone smells a lot like layers of paint mixed with dancer feet.
There also tends be confusion about what's going on in the outside world. "Did you see that thing on TV the other night?" Nope. I was rehearsing. "Did you feed the dogs?" Nope. I was rehearsing. "Did you bathe, exercise, or eat?" I had a Tic-Tac four days ago.
I've talked about how much I love doing improv shows. A large part of that is because I don't like to rehearse. I love to perform, but rehearsals turn my brain into this mushy substance not unlike a lump of gravy-covered dog poo. Coffee is suddenly consumed in excess. My internal monologue goes from "I need to pick up some milk later" to "I need to make sure I walk onstage with more of a limp." My wife and I suddenly feel like we're back in our dating days where we hardly saw each other. "Did you color your hair?" "Yeah, a week ago."
It's a process. It's a toil. There are good times, but it is work. But I promise you that all of the hard work over the next six weeks will be worth it. We are going to create something that will make you laugh. And, just as I invite you to continue listening to my afternoon show on KODM, I invite you make the trip to Tuna. You might see somebody you know.