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Lonely Hearts

It's been a non-stop week.

I finished performing in Dark Labyrinth last week and went immediately into our technical rehearsal for Lonely Hearts with Birch House Immersive. I'm pleasantly worn out.

Performing the week before Valentine's Day, Lonely Hearts is a one-on-one immersive show at The Den Theatre. It showcases the various ups and downs of relationships...

The audience is guided through a wedding gone awry. While the bride and the groom decide whether or not to get over their cold feet, the audience meets individually with the mother of the bride, best man, and the priest to discuss weddings, divorce, commitment, and the charming nonsense that is love.

I'm sporting a classic Irish brogue as Father Joseph O'Malley. Most of the other characters are very immersive one-on-ones that engage deeply with the audience. My track, however, is straight dialogue. The writer, Dean Corrin, has gifted me a nine-minute long monologue about the Irish Revolution and the meaning of commitment in love.

Memorization has been a real beast. Everything is timed, so being clearly understood with my accent, telling a very intense story, but also not running over or too far under time has been the biggest challenge.

I've been splitting my dialogue up by it's major beats and memorizing each beat at a time. This seems pretty simple in theory. Much of the story has repeating elements, so keeping recurring words and tropes distinct is something to be mindful of. I really have to dig into why Father Joe is telling this part of the story NOW as opposed to how his opinions will change to when he's mentioning repeated parts later in the story.

I've taken to plotting out father Joe's emotional track through the monologue. Why is he telling this stranger this story? What are his opinions of marriage and how do the elements of the story highlight or underscore his opinions? From there, I've plotted out the emotional path of his feelings and worked to memorize emotional beats first. This way, when elements are repeated each one has it's own unique color or idea attached to it, and I can keep similar elements distinct when they seemingly repeat on the page.

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