Virtual Reality — > Actual Reality

Today I get to rehearse with my actress for the first time. We open in less than a week.

Ok, I’ll amend that. I get to rehearse with my actress in person for the first time.

Here’s how it all breaks down. Tropical Depression was actually created for a fantastic actress friend of mine who currently lives in NYC. The plan was to have several weekend intensive rehearsals at a retreat in Pennsylvania (aka my father’s house), and then check in a few times a week on Skype, and then meet in Orlando for two weeks for final rehearsals, tech, and performances. Unfortunately, she ended up with firm scheduling conflicts and had to withdraw.

This doesn’t mean that Aly, my current star, is second-choice-chopped-liver. No way! I recently read somewhere that “your Plan B is really your Plan A” and this situation is the perfect example. Because Alyson lives in the Orlando area and is charge of her own work schedule, we didn’t have to worry about pesky things like a boss not approving the time off. It even enables us to make some festival preview appearances!

It did, however, present some logistical challenges regarding rehearsals.

Enter Rob, the super-awesome-life-saving co-director. Rob and Aly were able to meet regularly, in person, and handle table work, blocking, and do actual real rehearsals. We’d meet on Skype once a week, so I could see what they’d been working on.

Video conferencing is awkward. The computer I’d been using had a rambunctious webcam which chose to randomly zoom in on my face for uncomfortably intimate close-ups. The webcam in the rehearsal room had crystal-clear picture, but limited stage right and left sight lines. Sometimes Alyson would disappear mid-sentence.

But now, I get several days of real human interaction and actual rehearsal. I’m trying to think of some 3D-Avatar joke now, but you get the picture.

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