Last night, we had our weekly Vorpal rehearsal at Wonderland. It was our first rehearsal with a real coach. Until now, we’d just kind of been running sets and talking about what felt good and what didn’t. But now we have a coach. Our coach: Geoff Grimwood, teacher and member of various PIT house teams. To begin our session, we told him about what we felt our strengths and weaknesses were, and what we specifically wanted to work on. Then we put on a brief set for him.

I totally stunk up the joint.

I don’t know why I wasn’t performing up to my usual standard. I know I was quite nervous, performing before this skilled audience of one. I was falling back on old habits. Rushing into things. Not concentrating on object work. Getting in my head about all of the above. By the time he mercifully called it, I was ashamed at myself.

Then, like the Wizard of Oz, Geoff pulled exactly what we needed (and not what we thought we needed) out of his bag of tricks. A skilled teacher has a way of doing that. Just when you think you’re awful and have no business being near the stage, they just give you that little course correction and you’re a frickin’ rock star all over again. In my case, all I needed was a testimonial to vary my characters more so they weren’t all super-nervous nellies, and to think about my technique of creating and heightening a scene’s narrative structure.

So our first rehearsal with an actual coach was kind of incredibly successful. I only hope that I can assimilate all of those lessons in time for Friday’s show…