Beau Jest: Maintaining Performance Intensity

With 5 days between performances, it is a challenge in keep the intensity from one performance to the next. With our near sellout and excellent performance, I can remember what the intensity was, well because it really was. But to call that intensity again after 5 days off or at a moments notice? well how?

Our performances have been on Fridays and Saturdays. Friday has always felt like a warm up for Saturday’s performance. I think I am looking at this all wrong.

At the beginning of Act III, I have been preparing for JOEL’s encounter with SARAH over the “identity” of her “boyfriend”. This little session I hold with myself is more of a character development issue. It is recalling why JOEL is doing this. On the nights I spend less time in preparation, the worse I think that scene goes. I need to spend more time as JOEL during the run from 15-20 minutes before Act I till the end of Act III. Well, Duh!

But it is something that is hard to maintain when I have to interact with the other cast members, assist the Stage Manager with setup, etc. Not that this is a complaint. It’s not. Those are the facts and besides it’s also part of the enjoyment of why I do this. But I must work out a method for me to switch between JOEL and myself in a way that I can recall JOEL’s intensity at will. This is at the core of acting.

Yes, I know there are methods, techniques (Stanislavski, Strasberg, Meisner, etc.) and I have studied Meisner. But Paul Sylvan says on his website: “…’method acting’. It is a ‘middle man’ in a 2-step process.” I do need to review, make a combination of, and/or come up with something that works for me.

Regardless of how I do it, I really do want to be consistent in my intensity no matter how long it is between shows.

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