Birdland Diaries: Day Fifteen
by Katrina G
The universe sometimes smiles on poor wretches like us. Clearly, after a tough Day 14, someone decided that we’d suffered enough, and handed us a wildly productive and positive Day 15.
One of our actors was a bit frustrated because we’d cut a number of his scenes on Day 14, but on our second day at the crazy (beautiful) mansion we managed to make up for lost time and re-add all of his best moments back into the schedule.
In the end, I think everyone was pleased with how the day went, including him.
I have a great amount of respect for the work all our actors have been doing – but that particular actor has been absolutely nailing every moment on screen and his role is challenging and intense, so big changes to the game plan at the last second are understandably frustrating, and I thought his feelings about it were 100% legitimate. He wasn’t being a diva. He was being totally reasonable and trying to do his job well. He’s not a magic puppet who turns on and off when we tell him to. He actually prepares for each day’s scenes and it’s difficult for him to jump into an entirely different emotional zone when we switch the plan on the fly.
It sucks to have your scenes cut (because it means you’ll get less screen time in the end) but it also sucks to have them re-added on short notice, because it means you have to throw part of your preparation out the window and redo it without enough time to do that properly. Good actors make it look easy, but I know it isn’t, especially when you’re playing an intense character whose scenes are all emotionally draining (and in some cases, physically exhausting as well).
Watching actors do their work in short bursts (because that’s how films are shot) sometimes makes me feel like “pfft, anyone could do that” but the vast majority of the time it fills me with an enormous amount of respect for what good actors do. Because clearly, anyone couldn’t do it, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many cringe-worthy performances out there. Our whole cast is very, very good at what they do, and watching them work is impressive.
Anyway, the point is, we stopped freaking out about being fast, and we ended up being much faster than we’d been the day before. Day 15 was a wild success and left everyone feeling pretty optimistic about our final day. I can’t believe there’s only one left. Holy.