Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rehearsal #4: Dirty Old Carpet

Last night at rehearsal we finally started working on singing. As with any rehearsal, we started by warming up a bit with a name fry exercise and then moved into a vocal warm-up. We concluded the vocal warm up by standing in a half circle around our musician and singing a Verse/Chorus song. One person makes up a chorus, we all repeat it, then each person takes a turn singing a verse, with all of us repeating the chorus in between each verse. We chose to sing in the style of a David Mamet play.

We then moved into doing David Mamet style scenes that contained songs. After we’d done that a bunch, we moved on to Neil Simon style scenes into songs.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

We were rehearsing in a theater that is currently housing a run of Jean Genet’s The Maids. They’ve constructed a set that supposed to look like a run down tenderloin apartment. It’s done very well, right down to the rust orange-brown carpet that obviously came out of someone’s bedroom once. The carpet has obviously been cleaned, but no amount of cleaning could remove the inherent dirty quality of the poor floor adornment.

As the rehearsal progressed I could feel my chest getting congested, my nose filling up, my head starting to drift off into the land of loopyness. Soon I realized, it must be the carpet! Maybe its former owners had a cat. Maybe it’s just dusty or moldy. Either way, I was counting down the moments until I could get the hell out of there.

That said, as I lost my grip on reality, I found improvising and improvised singing so much easier. I was incapable of thinking, so I just opened my mouth and let stuff flow out. My brain felt directly connected to my mouth in a very strange way.

Now I just need to figure out how to recapture that feeling without the aid of a dirty old carpet.

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