Opening weekend is this weekend. That’s tomorrow. This is the culmination of my month in Bumblefuck.
So what have I been doing for the past month besides going to the movies and Bank of America? Running around the woods, pretending to be a pirate, climbing trees, falling into ponds, catching frogs, yoga, learning how to curtsy, singing songs, playing games. All these things I am getting paid to do.
Rehearsal is 5 days a week, we have Sunday and Monday off which is quite confusing to one’s internal clock, and begins at 9:30 AM. So my day looks like this:
8AM My alarm goes off. Somewhere between 8 and 8:30 I get out of bed- this varies by level of tiredness, if the sun is shining, if I shower.
9AMish Cook breakfast. The actor’s kitchen here is filled with supplies my sparse kitchenette in NYC only dreams of. Pots and pans abound and I love having time to cook breakfast.
9:30AM Rehearsal begins. First a half-hour warm-up of stretching, vocal exercising, and energizing movement.
10AM Improv exercises. Sometimes in character, sometimes out. This is a lot of OMG I’m traveling through Antarctica and I’ve discovered bananas growing! Or The way you tie knots gives my “situational Chlamydia!” Or I’ve brought you to my basement for the worst date ever! Or Grampa, stop eating pizza out of the park garbage! This is a sampling of scenes I have done over the past month. It’s a lot of creating a scene with another person with whatever you throw each other. Terrifying if you’ve never done it, super fun if you do it everyday.
11:30AM Character development. This is building a character from the simple casting you were given. I’ve created my “Piratess” character so she has history, needs, flaws, virtues, and relationships with other characters. It’s very different than having a script to lead you to your character, and it’s been a lot of fun and also a little scary. My imagination has never been so exercised in my adult life.
1PM Lunch. This sometimes includes working out for 40-50 minutes before eating. I can now do 20 push ups and run 2 miles fairly easily.
2:30PM Period styles. This is all learning language, history, and behavior of 1585. Verb conjugation: I run, Thou/You runest, He/She runeth. The whole Thou (familiar) vs. You (formal) situation is a bit of a beast. Women are considered weaker vessels. Marriages aren’t for love. Falling into water was likely to kill you. Bathing was very infrequent. Status was a huge thing, and people of lower station showed major deference to higher stations. That sort of thing.
4-7M Scenerio Rehearsal. These are little plays that happen through out the course of the day. I have a Pirate Show in which I get pushed in a frog pond and am later forced to walk the plank. My other show is Pirate Revels which is the singing of sea shanties and pirate-type songs. Other than these shows, the rest of the performance day is devoted to encounters on the street, interactive theater, which I believe I have a handle on but I won’t really know until we have an audience tomorrow! That’s the scary part!
And that is more or less what an average rehearsal day for a renaissance faire is like. After we open I will generally only have rehearsals on Fridays. That means my week looks like: rehearsal Friday, performance from 10-7 Saturday and Sunday, and then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off. (Go ahead, hate me, I would too.) That’s a lot of free time in Bumblefuck. What do you think I should spend it doing (besides blogging, of course)?