Yesterday was a breakthrough of sorts for me. A great run-through of the play, the kind of performance I only pray will happen opening night. When this happens – and it doesn’t happen very often – I always ask myself: how did I get there?
I think (which is always dangerous) it was a combination of things: 1) I took a break as Jeanna asked that we do, setting my script aside for four days, resisting the urge to look at my lines or even to think about Leo; 2) I went back over my script yesterday morning before the run-through, reviewing my scenes, paying particular attention to my blocking and asking myself what my objective is in each scene; 3) I drove down Bell Rd. almost screaming my lines – the other drivers must have been thinking “that guy in the Prius is nuts!”; 4) Jeanna shocked us by stopping us two minutes into Act One, Scene 1, and telling us we were talking way too slow for New Yorkers! That woke me up and brought me into the moment; and 5) During the run-through I laid down between scenes on the carpet in the “Props Room” and visualized myself floating in ocean on gentle waves while I breathed deeply and quieted my mind.
That strange cocktail worked. I was in the Zone—finding new colors in the speeches, being more present in the moment, more connected to the other actors. As Jeanna says: A relaxed mind is a creative mind!
My new mantra: Keep calm and trust the process.