David couldn't make it today, so we had a rehearsal just with Adrienne, our lead actress. We spent the bulk of the time on a very difficult scene, and the progress we made was surprisingly rapid.
The thing about Adrienne that's spectacular is that she really and truly listens and understands. We've worked with other actresses in the past who were very difficult to work with: they'd do a scene a particular way, and we'd offer a suggestion, and then they'd do the scene over the exact same way. Or, no matter how the other persons in the scene acted and reacted and changed their performance, they'd give their same performance in response. We often had to phrase and rephrase a direction eleven different ways to get people to give a different performance, and sometimes even then it'd still be the same.
But not so with Adrienne: we give her a suggestion and she follows it through; she also knows how to play off the people around her. It's a special sort of gift that's actually much rarer than you'd expect in an actress.
She's also done a lot of thinking about the character and her back-story, and more importantly than that, she's done smart thinking about pertinent aspects of the character and her back-story-- those things that will actually make a difference in her performance, and not idiotic minutae like "what did my character have for breakfast" or "who did she vote for on American Idol"?
More to come as it happens.