Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week 6: Entry 3: It's all in the timing

Time on stage is utterly strange.

As an actor, I've always liked to know how long a particular night's show runs. Fluctuations in minutes can be very revealing. Partly because of the importance of rhythm in acting: our emotions are very alterable through changing rhythm, and finding the appropriate rhythm for a scene can be exactly how to unlock its inner and outer life.

In a solo show, you become even more aware of time, as you're the only one governing and guiding the audience's journey. There was one performance this week which felt as if it was three hours long. And yet when Reed gave me the timing, it turned out to be 70 minutes - our shortest show yet. Indeed, he suggested that it actually felt rushed. For me, it was like swimming through treacle. I suspect there's a piece of research in the study of experiencing time on stage and in an audience, if I can work out how to articulate, monitor and evaluate the findings intelligently.

One piece of timing this week which was wonderful was the publication of the reviews... (While I'm not great at blowing my own trumpet, I suspect that should be another blog entry in its own right.) With regard to timing, there are only 5 shows left, and we really want to be sure as many people get to see the play as possible, given the amount of time and energy that so many creative beings have put into this. Although I don't tend to place undue weight on reviews, a good review can certainly boost audience numbers. And just knowing you're going out of stage with a good energy surrounding a production is infinitely more pleasurable than feeling that you're in a dud. Every actor on stage wants to have a good Time, as indeed does every audience.

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