Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

After very little rehearsal time, I'm making my Macau debut tomorrow. Everyone seems to know what they're doing. The sets have been built and the costumes are all fitted. All of the blocking is complete and the cast know their parts. I don't have the biggest part in the play, but I would have liked a little more rehearsal time.

Most of the rehearsals were in Hong Kong, which was convenient not only for me, but also for almost everyone else. At least 90% of the people involved live in Hong Kong. Dress rehearsals and the actual production are in Macau.

Getting from Hong Kong to Macau is pretty easy. The only problem is what you do once you get there. Hong Kong has one of the best mass transportation systems in the world. Even if I did not live close enough to the ferry terminal to walk, I would be able to get there easily from anywhere in the city. Once in Macau, most of us rely on taxis. The buses go all over the place, but I have never been on a Macau bus that was not overcrowded, dirty and pungent. None of that gets any better in summer.

I'm not entirely nervous about tomorrow. I suppose I should be. I'm not really an actor. Most of my theater experience involves dancing and singing. If you wow them with your fancy footwork, most audiences will forgive a stiff line reading. With Shakespeare, there's nothing to lean on. Hardcore fans have the lines memorized before they even buy their ticket. If I'm dancing, I'm relatively certain that I know the choreography better than anyone in the audience. With Shakespeare, it's very possible to have people watching you who know your part better than you do.

At the same time, this is not London or New York. This is a small production in Macau that will never be mentioned in the New York Times. No one involved is diving in half assed, but this is essentially a hobby for most of us. We all have other jobs that pay the bills.

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