On Monday, Michelle and I had planned to meet early and rehearse, but unfortunately, life got in the way. Luckily, I knew my lines and had worked on the text on my own this time. So, when we got to class and went to run our lines before going up, I should not have been completely thrown when she asked me, “What is Bruce doing here?” Someone once told me that a great acting exercise is to go out in public and run your lines, then see if people can tell you’re rehearsing, or if they think you’re genuinely having that conversation/argument/falling in love or whatnot. Michelle was super natural and awesome, as always, but I was not confused because I didn’t think she was acting. I was confused because her line in my script was “Why don’t you tell me what happened down there.”
We quickly figured out that Suzanna had been debating which of two scenes from the same show (Playing House) she wanted to give us, so although she did choose one, she ended up giving us each different scenes. She solved it by saying I would learn Michelle’s scene and do the other one as an audition, because I am good at learning lines and so that it wouldn’t be wasted (I had researched angry raccoon noises). However, once I learnt Michelle’s scene, we still had a bit of time, so I suggested Michelle try learning mine, if she wanted, so that we could do both scenes and neither of us would miss out on doing our scene with the connection of a scene partner. Obviously, she nailed it.
We did my scene first, since it came earlier chronologically. We opted to sit Indian style rather than overlapping each other scissor-style, and got Atena to do additional raccoon noises. The first take was mostly to get the lines out, but our connection was really good. My note was to go deeper, which made sense, not just because timeline wise, I had just found out I had been betrayed, but because I was trying to play it more straight and comedy than with heart and how I would actually react if this was happening to me. I believe my second note was to go even deeper again, and for Atena to make more raccoon noises for us. And to push the diamonds and the craziness. It was a cute scene and a lot of fun.
For Michelle’s scene, we had to fight more (I had to get more defensive), and then I had to go slower and remove all the okays that I was slipping in. When I got rid of the okays and went slower though, I also lost all of the energy. So we did it one last time so I could get the pace, remove the okays and keep the energy. One okay still slipped in, but it was a petty good take, and Michelle really looked hurt and affected by what I said, so she meant it when she wished me butt rabies. Well, not Michelle to me, but Emma to Maggie. You know what I mean.
I ran camera for the next scene, so kind of sad I didn’t get to see both sides of what sounded like an incredible performance (and was from the side I could see), but then I was on book for the last two. We went more than a half hour past when class was supposed to be over, but this time I was able to stay until the end. Which is good because Atena, whose scene it was, had to leave, even though Suzanna was still working on something with her scene partner. Always ready with solutions, Suzanna had me go up and be a therapist from 50/50. We did it 3 more times and although we didn’t record it on my SD card, I will definitely be asking for them tonight, just to see. After the 3rd take, when Suzanna asked him how it went, he said “I feel like I have to say good so everyone can go home.” Which we all thought was pretty funny.
“I’d rather have the hard road into excellence than the easy road into mediocrity. So I’m not complaining. And it’s important that I say this: If we have any Latinos or any immigrants listening to this, this is an invitation for us to wake up and be excellent at anything that we do.”