Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Blogs | Artistic Liberties
Table Reads ~ Max Maven | Thinking In Person
I wasn’t sure what it would be like encountering Max during our first rehearsals for Max Maven | Thinking In Person. I didn’t know if I would trust his abilities. Would I believe him? Was he full of tricks? Would I blink too long? Is mentalism really real? How do you block a show with magic?
It took all of five seconds for me to develop an opinion of him. Dynamic. Charismatic. A storyteller. Anecdotal. Sincere. Funny. A great sense of timing. There’s comedic timing and then there is magical timing. He possessed both and enthralled me.
Walking into the first rehearsal, I also encountered Sandy and Susan. Both warmly greeted me with a hug even though this was only our second time meeting in person. ¬†That doesn’t take into account the countless emails that we’ve sent one another though. Quick. To the point. Action oriented.
That is what I appreciate about Sandy as a director. There are no guessing games. He says what’s on his mind. He gets to it quickly. He stands firm with his opinion. But he listens. He has a bit of flexibility and allows room for you to be fully in the room.
His wife and also co producer Susan, while sweet and kind, is also forward, opinionated and knows when to push back and when to relent. I’d assume after years of working together, producing one show after another and owning a magic shop, they (Sandy and Susan) have their sense of timing and understanding down to a science.
Melanie, the newest addition to Max’s one man show is a breath of fresh air. Her sunny disposition, soft smile and perfect blonde ringlets stand in stark contrast to Max and brings a wonderful balance to the show. She is pleasant, kind, sweet, sincere and absolutely gorgeous. ¬†She’s an all American sweetheart and ¬†it’s nice to be in the room with an actress who comes to the table with openness, eagerness and a willingness to try new things and to play.
We spent the bulk of our first rehearsal doing a table read of the script, marking cues, noting props and learning stories and anecdotes of magic practitioners and the likes.
Yes, the lights flickered on and off. Yes the room went from scorching sweaty hot to icy¬†¬† . No, the chairs weren’t entirely comfortable. And yes, there was even an accident report compiled because of a freakish crash. It’s a rehearsal room. An old one, off Broadway in New York. The heat. The flickering light. The faulty window. I suppose it’s a given. But these people, this script, the mystery the audience will experience….¬† it’s all magic.
I wouldn’t want to be any place else.