Thursday, March 24, 2011

With a Little Luck

I wonder what I could possibly find to talk about for this post. Japan. I mean nothing has really happened around here for me to comment on. Earthquake. There are only two weeks left to rehearse for the production I'm in. Tsunami. One of those weeks is devoted to something we call tech week. Radiation. Final touches are put on the set, costumes, lighting, and whatnot. Text redcross to 90999 to donate $10 to help with relief for Japan. The only problem is the actors are not ready. There's a problem it seems with memorizing lines. There are deadlines set in every production for when actors are "off book", meaning lines for whatever act you are working on must be memorized and you must be prepared to run a scene without the comfort of the script in your hand. That can be a scary moment, but that leap of faith pays off in so many ways. You can really start exploring what the heck you are doing in a scene once you are not staring at that pesky script. We had a rehearsal the other night where it was painfully obvious that not only were deadlines missed, but we'd never be ready in time for opening night.

To be fair it is a whackin' long play. The script is 106 pages long. That translates to about a three hour run time. Very few lines are two or three sentences long; there are pages and pages of paragraphs to wade through. I am extremely lucky that my role is the smallest of the main characters and have pretty much been able to keep up with the deadlines. That's not meant as bragging. I breath a sigh of relief at every rehearsal that I am not saddled with having to learn one of the other parts.

I thought for sure we would have to end up canceling the production. Turns out though by a stroke of luck we are able to postpone for a month. Better that than letting everything go for naught. We have a new deadline though. Completely off book Act I by Friday night the 25th or the show IS off. No ifs ands or buts. Cross those fingers everybody. I'll let ya know.

Though he never really talked about it, my father was a WWII vet. One of the two or three things I know of his service is that on August 6, 1945 he was on a boat headed for Japan. That was how he spent his 21st birthday. He was a paratrooper. Why he was on a boat I'll never know. Simple transport to some airfield? I'm sure I could do some research with my mighty mighty iPhone and find his records.

I'll never know how he really felt about what he went through. He didn't talk and I didn't ask either. One glimpse I got however was a comment he made long ago when Japanese cars started really taking off in this country. Some thirty odd years after the fact he just couldn't understand why Americans would buy cars from companies that made the engines for planes that killed so many U.S. soldiers. A very common sentiment for men of that time I know.

I think though he would've understood the importance of reaching out to those in need in this case. War time foe or not. As tough of a father as he was he still knew a little love and some tenderness went a long way.

I know with so much going on in the world - heck in your neighborhood - it's tough to be mindful of the strife of strangers half a world away. I know we all pick our own battles and causes and projects. Maybe one of them could be some little thing to help some poor soul whose entire town has been washed away. Where would you turn if everything you've known was suddenly gone? Everything. Just gone.

I'm pullin' for ya.

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