Part 2 – Innocence Lost Production Diary
Part 2 – Jan 14 – Getting on their feet:
After the first few sessions of reading, the actors are up on their feet, doing blocking. The internet says the term comes from a practice of ‘using small wooden blocks to represent actors, moving these about on a miniature of a set of a planned work’. For these guys it’s walking through the script, half reading, half acting, getting the feel of things – sometimes calling out ‘line!’ when they need a hint from the production crew. Sometimes calling a stop to say – ‘wouldn’t it be better if I stood over here?’ Or ‘would my character know this at the time?’
It’s fascinating watching them work – I can see why the Actors Nightmare is a play about forgetting lines.
I’m continuing to study the faces. It’s challenging, as each actor has multiple roles in the play. Each time I’m wanting to portray them slightly differently. I’m imagining once they’re in costume it’s going to look even more impressive. People changing age and persona right before your eyes.
I was glad to get a good one of the playwright, Beverly Cooper – she was only here for a few days, so I made sure to get a few of her. And of course, the director, Roy Surette. I’m not sure what’s the right thing to say about directors – puppet master? collaborator? cheerleader? It’s certainly some of all of that.
As the actors block the scenes, sometimes a posture will happen, just for the briefest second, that really tells the story. Here’s a couple from early in the play, as the school kids are just finding out that their friend has been murdered.
At the end of a session I grabbed a shot of Steven Truscott’s bike leaning in the corner, with some other props – a detective’s hat, some old bakelite phones, a super 8 movie projector. I don’t know what some of it is for, but I know that bike will be in a big scene soon.