April 27, 1996

Yesterday's auditions left me uneasy, and I wound up sitting on my sofa at three in the morning reading the parts aloud, trying to get a handle on what kind of performances I wanted from the actors. When I finally obtained a reading from myself that I liked, I listened to it with one ear and noticed that I was delivering the dialogue with almost no emphasis. I guess I must like to write about people that don't emote when they speak. Now how do I communicate this to the actors? I've been trying to talk to them about the underlying emotions of the characters, which practice almost always lead to excessively emotional readings. I think I have to start talking more about the amplitude and pitch of the performances, and not just about the psychology behind them.

I also wonder how many actors will enjoy playing characters who keep a low emotive profile. We'll see.

I'm surprised how much of the dialogue seems awkwardly written after I've heard it delivered a few times. I thought my script was more polished than it in fact is. I've been making a lot of little changes, mostly simplifications.

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