This is a continuation of my DBA in Space journal.
Friday, September 16, 2011
OMG. (This is the first time in my life that I have ever used OMG, so you must know how overwhelmed I felt.) What have I gotten myself into? I got to sleep in late today, as my call time was not until 2:00 PM, where I had to return to the American Church again, but this time, it was for rehearsals. As of those who have seen the video, I am not an actor. In fact, I have never attempted to act in my entire 54 years of living on Earth. But today, Nell and I rehearsed the key scenes of the script, under the guidance Will, our director. Both Nell and Will were very kind and never made a negative comment about my lack of acting ability. In fact, they both offered as many acting tips as they could, trying to cram years of acting knowledge into my feeble brain in the four hours we rehearsed.
Unlike the previous day where we just read our lines, this time we acted out the lines. While I had read the script, I had yet to memorize the script, which meant that I had to read/act from the script. For the most part Nell had memorized most of her lines, which made it much easier for her than for me.
Me, Nell Mooney (Miss Friday), and Will (Director) working on a scene.
While we didn’t have a set to rehearse on, we improvised a set and props as needed, going over each scene over and over again until we more or less mastered each scene. The director didn’t want us to over rehearse, as he felt that it was best to save your best performance for the camera (yea, like that would make a difference for me). For the scenes where I read into the pretend camera, or when doing the physical comedy, I felt fairly comfortable, although it was often difficult for me to remember what to say (even with the script in front of me), hitting my marks when moving, and using pretend props. I would get confused as there was so much to remember. And to think, this would even get worse when being in front of a live camera and the film crew the following week.
We were experimenting how it would be for me to “act” as an alien.
Licking out of a glass always got Will laughing, although Nell would always stay in character.
As an aside, while I have never been in front of a camera before, I have been behind a camera many times, and in fact, I was the still photographer for a feature film originally called Goodbye Paradise. The film was also released under the name of Moon Over Paradise, and if you visit here, you will see a movie poster. I took all of the photos of the four actors at the top of this poster. The photo of Waikiki Beach was a stock photo.
Will and I taking a break during rehearsals.
Even though my film experience is very limited, I am familiar with how films are made, including all of the terminology and how things work on a film set. This made it much easier for me, as I didn’t have to ask a lot of “dumb” questions about what was going around me during filming.
After the four hour rehearsal was over, I felt physically and mentally exhausted.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
A day of rest, sort of. I spent the morning exploring the British Museum, and in the afternoon and evening studying the script. I also had to arrange my travel to Epson Downs, which is located in Surrey. I had hoped to take the train on Sunday so I could get there early and check into my hotel. But as I was planning for my train ride for Sunday, I discovered that no trains run on Sunday to Epson Downs. So I had to arrange for a driver to pick me up on Sunday at my hotel in London and drop me off at my hotel at Epson Downs.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I sleep in late again, still adjusting to the six hour time change. At noon, my driver comes by the hotel and drives me to Epson Downs. When I arrive at the hotel, it is a disappointment, with no food service, no wireless Internet, no closets, no safe for my valuables, a bed that felt like it is stuffed with rags, and a room barely big enough to turn around in. The only advantage of the hotel was that was within walking distance of the Epson Downs grandstand, and being out in the country, it is relatively quiet. I spent the afternoon and evening memorizing and rehearsing my lines. As you might imagine, my anxiety level was rising, hoping that I don’t make too big a fool of myself this upcoming five days of shooting. I kind of felt like I was cramming for a test at college. Unfortunately, I have test anxiety, and I don’t do well with tests.
In the next installment, I begin to discuss the filming.