2) quiet time
4) an open mind
I read somewhere that the first time you read a play, you should turn off your cell phone, lock the door, light candles, find the perfect music for the mood and play it on a low volume, and take it slow. Yes, the first time you read a play. Because the first time is your first encounter to the words, the storyline, the characters, the dramatic climax, the resolution, the take-away. The first time is special. You never get a second chance at the first time. Create a ritual for yourself. I wish I could tell you I had some elaborate ceremony but I don't. Yet.
What I do have is a ritual for rehearsifying...
For Table Work:
I like to arrive early. I like to have a coffee. I like to have more pencils than I would need. I like to have the box of AEA-provided-Kleenex within arms reach. I like to have a cup of water at my station. I like to have my glasses whether I really need them or not. I like to have my homework. I like to have the set design in front of me. And I like to wear my shawl. And after receiving these snazzy socks as a gift from a friend, I would like to wear these on "first days" for ever after.
I LOVE rehearsal. I can't get enough of rehearsal. I love the room. I love the spike tape. I love the bowls of mints and couch drops. I love how some Stage Managers bring doughnuts. I love how some interns bring homemade baked goods. I love the chance to work with old friends. I love the chance to make new friends. I love how in rehearsal you can steal the opportunity to watch, in awe, the other artists in the room. I love to chance to laugh at ourselves. I love great direction. I love smart actors. I love insightful playwrights. I love working on a play with my husband - playing my husband. I love shared vocabulary. I love mining for gold. I love taking a chance. I love experimentation. I love falling on my face. I love sharing a breath with my scene partner. I love the discovery. I LOVE the imagination, I <love> the frustration, I LOVE the creation.