On the Road With Laramie





Here’s Scott Barrow trying to get people through a dull moment with his impersonation of Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonating Moisés Kaufman. Kelli Simpkins looks on, and Amy Resnick laughs hysterically. 

Within about a minute of the break, I am yelling at our company manager because she hasn’t bought us fresh fruit and chocolate makes me tired and nervous. Then I get in a fight with Scott Barrow about the way I talked to the company manager. Mercedes is trying to calm her crying baby. Kelli and Jeremy are cracking dirty jokes in the corner and making Mark Berger laugh in spite of his best efforts to study his script. Amy Resnick is crying by the coffee machine and being comforted by Christina Rouner.

Now I am yelling at people, Kelli and Jeremy are joking around, and Amy is crying. Next break we all might exchange roles. No one gets out of tech without having a breakdown of some kind and without having considered leaving the theater at least once each day.

It’s frustrating. We are working on a micro level right now. And it is hard to hold the broad vision of the piece when you are going over each of its moments with a fine-tooth comb. Matthew and the meaning of his story, the importance of his story, suddenly seems very hard to reach. I tell myself over and over that the work I am doing is deserves the very best of me, but it is hard for me to muster that part of myself during tech, and it makes me feel very low-minded. Still, this work has to get done. This precision of detail and the polish that we are laying in at this point will make the play soar.

I have been through this process many times, and still I find myself wondering if maybe this time I really have gotten too cynical, maybe now I don’t really don’t have the same big heart I had when I was younger and doing this play. I can’t feel a drop of emotion about the story we are trying to tell. Then all at once we get to a place where a whole sequence needs to be run. And the story and my heart come alive again. In fact they come even more alive than usual because I feel them in contrast to all the boredom, irritation, and fatigue of tech.

Tags: Theater