Pennsylvania

Photo Essay: The Rehearsal

In November 2012, I started taking classes at The Studio for Actors. The long-term goal is to create a show about my bicycle travels through all 50 of the United States and living car-free in Tucson. This show will combine storytelling, photos, and live music.

While it’s fun to talk about long-term performance goals, there is the here-and-now to deal with. I’m currently learning the fundamentals of acting. Like diction.

Since “diction” is shorthand for “that class I have every Friday,” I have to keep up with the homework. It goes like this: You get a written piece – call it your script – and you rehearse. Frequently.

During my last class before Christmas, I told Acting Coach Anna that I would indeed be rehearsing over the holidays. She gave me one of those “Yeah, right!” looks.

So, time for Rehearsal on the Road.

Did you know that Chicago Midway Airport’s B Terminal is a great place to rehearse? Place is so busy and noisy that no one will pay attention to what you’re doing…

Photo essay - diction rehearsal script in Chicago Midway Airport

My destination: The family home in eastern Pennsylvania. Time to take that 1980s-vintage AT&T ad out to the front yard for a run-through.

In the background: My uber-Michigan Wolverines fan mother, picking up sticks that blew down during a recent storm…

Photo essay - diction rehearsal script in Westtown, Pennsylvania

It’s one thing to do a solo rehearsal in my childhood bedroom, or to s-l-o-w-l-y and c-l-e-a-r-l-y read the piece to my almost-deaf father.

But that’s nowhere near as thrilling as rehearsing in public. Especially if it’s in your own private railroad car. Time for a who-knows-how-long-this-will-last session on SEPTA train 550 to Philadelphia…

Photo essay - diction rehearsal script on SEPTA train to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As the train got closer to the city, it filled with people. End of rehearsal. Cue up the excellent visit with my Philadelphia friends, who own a recording studio.

After almost two weeks in Pennsylvania, it was time to return to Tucson. With more rehearsing in airports. Hello, E Terminal of Philadelphia International Airport…

Photo essay - diction rehearsal script in Philadelphia International Airport

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I also rehearsed on the plane to Denver. Both of my seatmates were sound asleep, so I kept the volume down.

En route to Tucson,I had the privilege of sitting next to a father and son who are employed by RailWorks. They’re track welders on the City of Tucson’s streetcar project. So, much conversation about municipal rail projects ensued.

Fun facts: Did you know that those track welds have to be done so precisely that if you can slide a piece of paper between the RailWorks straight edge and the track, that particular welding point has failed inspection? My seatmates were also quite proud of the fact that their work is held to a higher standard than the Federal Railroad Administration’s. Take that, feds.

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