Well I’ve been having an eventful summer. A friend of mine was starring in the play A Streetcar Named Desire, as Stanley. Now every actor worth his/her salt knows that play and would die to be apart of it. If you’ve seen the movie Blue Jasmine, then you caught a cliff notes modern “version” of the play. So when my friend told me he was going to play Stanley Kowalski I was ecstatic. And when he asked if I would consider doing a part that hadn’t been cast yet I of course jumped a the chance.
My first rehearsal went something like this. I arrive at the theater, two of the leads are there along with the director; we are in a dinning area of the theater not on the stage. O.k no problem. The rest of the day went like this:
10:00am — Scheduled call, two cast member plus the director and myself are there
10:30am — Three additional cast members arrive
10:45am — 11:15am – Bicker about the my friend not arriving
11:15am — My friend aka Stanley arrives, bicker becomes mild argument
So we begin rehearsal. I should have known from this day something was wrong. First of all my friend is a working actor and had the strongest resume of the bunch so when he was late I know something was up because in our business you can never be late. EVER!
The above behavior continues and escalate as we arrive to opening week. The director gets sick and can not attend the rehearsal for two days. The actor playing Mitch (and the main trouble maker in my opinion). has decided he can not speak as he has damaged his vocal cord (bull…). Well where are the understudies you might say…oh there weren’t any. So I asked friend in my acting class who luckily was working on this play, if he could fill in. He came to the rehearsal, which should have been our first night of previews, then suddenly the actor playing Mitch could speak, where once he couldn’t. Its a miracle!
Fast forward to opening night. The director (who has now returned) tells us we’re going to do a run through tonight as we are not ready to open, you don’t say! During our first and only run through the actress playing Blanche stops in the middle of the scene and begins to cry as a prop phone she brought in has been broken. I mean heavy heaving sobs of despair that lasted for about 30 minutes, the director had to clear the stage. Granted the phone had sentimental value, but come on!!! Elizabeth Taylor’s husband died in a plane crash while she was filming Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. And that’s a classic and she didn’t. And guess what she didn’t do. Waste anybody’s time.
The next day, the real opening day 😉 we’re all at rehearsal, surprisingly every one is on time and we’re waiting for about 2 hours. Then a lady comes out, who says she owns the theater, I’d never seen her at any rehearsals; though she claims to have been watching a few of our rehearsals. She begins reading this heartfelt letter that basically said; they we’re closing the show, without opening because some of the actors are acting like total divas. Unbeknownst to me the actors playing Mitch, Blanche, and Stella had been sending threatening emails of walking out of the production etc. So the producers didn’t pull their punch and closed the entire production.
Acting, tacky business I know!
What did I learn from this. Oh so many things. Always have the best attitude, even if you’re unhappy about the way things are going, you never know who’s watching. Be professional. Nobody has time for your personal life dramas at work. Have breakdowns on your own time. Be professional!!!