The days of little sleep are already beginning to wear on me. I’m not the spring chicken I once was–I remember doing all-nighters for fun during college. What was I thinking? Youth is wasted on the young. Now I get 5 1/2 hours of sleep three nights in a row and I’m a zombie.
Our new version (how many versions are we up to now? five?) of the opening song is called “Can You Cure Me.” All the previous versions of this song were called “Can You Cure Me,” too–except one rough draft a few weeks ago when I got sick of “Can You Cure Me” and proposed “I Can’t Sleep.” My collaborators shot that down, mercifully, but the music from “I Can’t Sleep” survived and made it into the latest, all new, all singing, all dancing, all 5/4-changing-to-6/4-changing-to-12/8-brand-new song about filling out too many forms when you go to a clinic…in this case a sleep disorder clinic.
Here’s what the first minute or so sounds like (in a home demo version):
Needless to say, with all this meter switching, it’s a tough song to learn, but these actors are not only up to the task after a mere two days, they’re learning choreography to go with it.
Doug Varone is our choreographer, and while I’ve never seen his work before I am astonished and overjoyed every time I come into the room to see what he and the actors are putting together. They keep bringing the songs to life – even in these embryonic, 3rd-day-of-rehearsal versions, and it makes me literally jump for joy to see it happening.
At the same time, I may be jumping up and down in part because I’m so punchy. I had to actually go and catch a few z’s during rehearsal today, because I was falling asleep on my laptop and going over the same four bars of music for half an hour without actually getting anything done. Cheryl (Mintz, PSM,) gently led me to the Actor Nap Room. Actor’s Equity requires that there be a cot for actors to nap on, and McCarter goes further: a room with mattresses, clean sheets, pillows, blankets, a little sign you can put on the door that says “Actor napping,” and a light that you can turn blessedly off.
It worked. I awoke, refreshed, banged out the last of my fixes for the setting of Val’s lyrics from yesterday, and had enough energy left over to jump up and down some more when I got to see Doug’s choreographic ideas for the dream sequence in Act 1.
I finished out the day by teaching the new bridge of “Good For Me,” the teenage rebellion song, to our Sleeping Beauty, Aspen Vincent. She kicked its ass. She knocked it out of the park. I remember learning about the stages of mastery from a workshop I took ages ago–you begin with unconscious lack of mastery, when you don’t even know how lame you are at a particular skill. Then you progress to conscious lack of mastery–you’re aware of how far you have to go. You work towards conscious mastery–you can do it, but it takes effort and brainpower. And finally, you achieve a zen state of unconscious mastery, where you kick booty like Neo in the Matrix, without even a moment’s thought. You simply have it down.
Aspen, I’m proud to say, is in the latter category. I’m so psyched.