Well, here I am in the rehearsal room again. I’ve mopped the floor, put on some Leonard Cohen, and am typing this while I wait for the floor to dry and the others to arrive.
The showcase on Saturday was a great success, not in any sense of having put on a polished show (although it did come out much cleaner than I expected), but in the sense that had an audience, and we seemed to engage most of them.
The show itself clocked in at 60 minutes, which is astounding, because when we rehearsed, it felt much more like 20 minutes, AND we cut the Satsuki-tan’s Brain scene. The most successful part for me, however, was the 30-minutes discussion with the audience. It was exactly what I hoped for in the sense of feedback.
Even better yet, Emmy Nagaoka was there with a video camera and later sent me a rough transcript so we’ll actually be able remember what was said. I had meant to tape the whole thing myself, but someone who I will not mention, but whose name begins with GRAIG RUSSELL, forgot to bring my video camera. We managed to capture bits and pieces of video with my still camera, but a few key moments (including the end) are missing, since Canon cameras are limited by the SD card’s limit of 4GB per file.
The missing video might be for the best, since this gave me the idea of actually make a project of shooting some of the segments as they exist now so that we have more video content on the YTG website.
I was really impressed by how the whole group stepped up to the challenge. What we need to start reinforcing amongst ourselves, however, is that we need this kind of commitment all the time, not just when we have a public showing. That’s kind of the whole point of the ensemble. I want us to keep a sustained level of energy going into our rehearsals so that we don’t need to go into crunch mode when a show comes up.
That “crunch time” is the main reason I wanted to stop doing Theatre the old way. Sure, there will always be a little extra pressure on the week of the show, some of it imposed by the fact that, in Japan, you’re lucky to afford to get into the Theatre more than 24 hours before the day of the performance, but if the performance itself is ready due to sustained efforts beforehand, then a lot of the usual stresses are removed.
Speaking of “crunch”, we also had an evening performance at the Yokohama Honda Gekijou as part of a group show. We took a subset of our material and modified it. It didn’t feel as good as the afternoon performance (a prop gun failed to discharge four times in a row, which kind of took the ‘oomph’ out of it, although Saori handled it like a pro and shouted “パン!” each time the gun didn’t fire), but it was still a great way to end a crazy day.
I’d woken up with a migraine, and had been unable to even eat breakfast. The headache had subsided enough by our 14:00 showtime to allow me to do the strenuous bits required for the showcase without absolutely killing myself, and by the time we were talking to the audience at 15:00 it was pretty much gone. By the time the photo you see above was taken (at around 20:30, after our evening performance), I was not only headache free, but RAVENOUS. So our day ended with a “cast party”, if you can call it that, around a table at the local First Kitchen, with us all eating something disgusting and fatty.
All in all, a very satisfying day that gave us a lot of information on how to move forward from this point.