Tuesdays schedule read:
4:00PM 5:30PM Jon goes bowling with Shalom, Jake, Caleb, and Kelly
Which sounded to me like a great photo opportunity, and maybe even a chance to hurl
some gutter balls. Part of the events appeal also came from a growing feeling that I
havent been dealing with the actors in these missives from the front, and that the
actors are an awfully big part of the show.
At least, Ive gotten mail telling me thats so.
The reasons for their omission, thus far, are various, but the most significant one is
just how significant the actors, particularly Shalom, are. She is in nearly every scene of
the picture, and while there are great talents surrounding her, it is her great talent
upon which the ultimate success or failure of the film will ultimately reside.
This is the stuff of great drama, but it is also time for a trip to Heisenbergland.
Shalom may well turn out to be an excellent actor, or a talented comedian; her screen test
shows a natural grace and flair for understated humor, and Ive only heard thus far
about how hard shes working to prepare for this role. Still, she is a beginner, and
thus far has not had the chance to develop the techniques experienced actors use to
prepare for roles.
Jon thought that bringing an outsider in to observe Shaloms process of developing
her character would inevitably change that process, part of which is to develop an abiding
and total trust in the director and the other actors. If the observer compromises that
trust in any way, if he were to cause the actor to hold back emotionally or question the
directors directions, the process would falter or fail.
As an inexperienced director, someone who has not yet developed the techniques that
will ultimately carry him through professionally, Jon was in a similar situation. He felt
he needed to work free and clear of outside judgement, which often leads to increased (and
unproductive) self-judgement. I would have preferred it to be otherwise, but I had to
agree. The movie would be better off if I stayed clear of rehearsals.
At least the pre-Christmas rehearsals, which is why there hasnt been much here
about the actors.
So I was looking forward to watching the two leads and the two young children bond over
some sodas and bowling, and to write my first report about actual actors and what goes on
with them six days before shooting starts. But that was not to be.
First of all, Kelly is six and a small six at that. Her mother really didnt think
bowling was her game quite yet. So the bowling was cancelled, to be replaced by the eating
of ice cream sundaes, which any six year old can certainly handle. Even a small one. And
since the reason for this meeting was to give these actors, who must develop a certain
familiarity and intimacy in the course of the movie, a chance to get familiar and intimate
with one another, it was another trip to Heisenbergland for me. You can call it exile.
It wont always be this way. There are more rehearsals today. Ill be there.
And soon the button to the left of this page marked will lead to more than a simple
But for now, Im going bowling. Alone.