Tonight was my penultimate rehearsal before our show next weekend. I leave in a few days for the national PBS conference and won’t be back until Thursday night next week, which will be the final final rehearsal before our shows Friday through Sunday. So in the interim next week, Dennis is manning the helm of my show.
My play is in good hands. Dennis has directed my work before and knows all of the actors in my piece (most of whom are in the piece by Abby that he’s directing). So I’m not at all worried about what will happen while I’m gone (even though he sat in on our rehearsal tonight and said at the end that everyone should forget everything I’ve told them and that they’d start over on Monday) (ha fucking ha). But I’m still bummed to have to bail out at the very end. Now that the actors are off-book, they are really playing around with their characters and having fun. And making me laugh.
The proposition of laughing at your own play is a dicey one. When I’m laughing at my play, it’s because the actors are doing something funny. I’m not laughing because I think I’m so hilarious. But I always feel like a jackass when watching my play with an audience. I find it rather douchey to stand there laughing at my script (even though I just told you I’m actually laughing at the actors). Case in point: at a fringe festival that shall remain nameless, a young person stood next to me (in the back of the room) while I watched someone else’s play. This young person kept laughing – heartily – at the play, which was only mildly amusing – if you were drunk or stoned. (Does that sound bitchy? Meh.) When the show ended, I found out that this person was the playwright. And it made me loathe this person even more. It’s one thing to laugh at shit that isn’t funny – maybe your spouse or someone you want to sleep with or borrow money from wrote it. But to laugh at your own work, which isn’t funny, well, that’s just not right.
Anyway, my cast is really finding some funny moments in rehearsal right now, and I’m sad to miss what else they discover over the final few rehearsals. There’s something about the Houston Fringe Festival and my schedule that isn’t compatible. Last year, James and I were in California until literally the day before the show. So, as usual, Dennis was stuck with locating and delivering a bed and multiple other set pieces without any help from me. This year, the set is slightly easier to manage but he’s still having to do a lot of stuff that I should be helping him with.
That’s what he gets for saying yes, I guess. Sucker.