Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth
Thursday (2/24/11) 3:05pm - ... wherein Peter scribbles notes during noir rehearsal.
Because I have no short-term memory, here are some show notes from last night's Violet Underbelly (AKA "improvised noir") rehearsal.
- We need more names at the start of the show.
- Generally, go for *character* stuff at the top of the show.
- Don't cut a slow, character-heavy scene early.
- Just because a character appears or is alluded to in the first scenes, you don't have to make that character a tentpole in the rest of the show.
- As the protagonist in noir, you have two jobs:
- Get pushed around by the plot.
- Name people.
- If the protagonist is squeaky-clean, you can eventually reveal latent flaws, dangerous vices, or a shadowy past.
- If the stage is blank, then there are two good options:
- The lead walks onstage.
- Two apparently-unrelated characters take the stage.
- This second case is very "jump-and-justify"
- The revealed reason these two characters meet could...
- ... be interesting.
- ... introduce further threats to the lead.
- Feel free to just be a minor character or an extra.
- Especially if you show up, introduce pressure, then leave.
- Don't accidentally upstage other players.
- If someone upstages you, feel free to play down/out to the audience.
- You needn't be face-to-face to your scene partner.
- You needn't be static, either.
- Feel free to move around, vary up the stage picture.
- You can always make endowments that apply to earlier scenes.
- Think of it as a kind of retconning.
- Nearly every room has a supply of booze & cigarettes.
- Their exact location tells us something about the room.
- Lying on a table = blue-collar
- In a special lacquered box = upper-class.
- When a scene sputters out, try endowing the location.
- For next time, we'll work on stage violence and crowd scenes.
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