Ink Diaries: Approaching Dark Mode

One week from today we’re off to the races when we begin rehearsals for James Graham’s play Ink at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis. I’m chomping at the bit to get in the room with actors and start bringing this story alive on our way to its opening on March 24.

Ink Prelim Art

We’re still heavy into production work but I’m just about at that point where I shut down research and script work. I call it Dark Mode.

Essentially I’ll put the script away for 4-5 days. All the research, script work and note taking just sort of percolates, simmers, or stews a bit. The day before rehearsals start I’ll take another cursory pass at the script. But when we sit down for the first read I want to hear the words with the voices of the actors and see how those voices confirm or challenge the thoughts I’ve been bringing to the mix so far. I look forward to both the confirmations and the challenges.

Immediately after that first read my brain will enter a period where it doesn’t shut off on the show until after it has opened. But until then I sort of have to enforce Dark Mode on myself. I’ll want to jump back into things now and then, but I’ve learned over the years to trust this percolating part of the process. Maybe it’s like letting a good piece of meat rest a bit before carving and serving. And maybe I should stop with the food analogies.

Every creative act involves a leap into the void. The leap has to occur at the right moment and yet the time for the leap is never prescribed. In the midst of a leap, there are no guarantees. To leap can often cause acute embarrassment. Embarrassment is a partner in the creative act—a key collaborator.

-Anne Bogart

Author: Warner Crocker

I stumble through life as a theatre director and playwright as well as a gadget geek...commenting along the way. Every day I learn something new is a good day, so I share what I find exciting, new, stupid and often worthwhile.

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