Tuesday, March 06, 2018

A Lesson in Preparation

Performing with puppeteer Adam Gertsacov in 1997

Here is one for the list of prominent lessons in acting. It was prompted by a conversation with Megan not long ago.

Twenty summers ago, I spent a few months with a circus.

It was something of a play, as well: an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest for a circus format, the third and final production of the Pan-Twilight Circus (RIP 1990-97). The ensemble consisted of a few actors; musicians from the Amoebic Ensemble, an amazing band from Providence; and circus professionals. We toured New England in a bigtop. It was a strange summer.

I remember watching the circus folk - Jens Larsen and Chelsea Bacon and others - and how they went about preparation. They practiced with such affectionate and meticulous care, checking and double-checking their costume, props, and their equipment - the rings, beams, the rigging for the Spanish web. Sheesh, I thought, these people prepare as if their lives depended on it. Oh! Yeah. 

How lazily I attended to my own rehearsals and preparation for performance. How precious I was about things that weren't important. It was a good lesson.

No comments: