Hear The Voices

photo-2This is the most unusual rehearsal process I’ve ever navigated.

First, I wrote the play and in preparing to perform it, I’m discovering it anew as if someone else wrote it. There have been brilliant and funny moments when I ask myself, I wonder why he wrote that? The good news is that I remember whom to ask.

Second, the play was originally meant for Tom to perform and since the story is Tom’s family narrative, I wanted the language and syntax to be Tom’s. In development, I recorded hours of conversation with him. Much of the first draft was a transcription so that I might capture word-for-word his language choices and speech patterns. Those structures survived the several rewrites that happened after Tom’s death. In preparing to perform the play I’m wrestling with the language. I’m wrestling with his language. It is almost as if I am discovering my own speech patterns and syntax – in telling Tom’s story I’m finding it necessary to tell it my way, not his. Essentially, as is true in all good storytelling, I am finding myself, my voice, through his story.

Tom and me a long time ago.

Tom and me a long time ago.

Finally, the music is a character in the play and the musicians, Mom’s Chili Boys, are madly rehearsing in California while the actors (Kerri and I) are rehearsing in Wisconsin. The internet is a beautiful thing as, each day, we pass notes, record voices, email questions; we will only be together in the same room 3 days before the first performance. We’re essentially workshopping the play from two locations. It is akin to rehearsing a symphony in parts and the parts only come together in the final day. They get to experience the whole symphony, the fullness of their music as played through all of the voices, only in the final hour. And that will be true of this play.

Each day I rehearse and I hear Tom’s voice in my head, telling me the stories that comprise the play. I am reminded that, whether artist or audience, art is a living thing. It is a relationship and ultimately that relationship is with your self.

title_pageGo here to buy hard copies (and Kindle) of my latest book: The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Innovator, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator,…You.

For all digital versions, go here (Leanpub)

Untitled by David Robinson

Untitled by David Robinson

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