Our last night following an intensive week’s work on the project.

The post-show discussion was lively and interesting – comments on the video projections, the jazz-formed writing, the three Chet Bakers as well as, of course, a lot of comments about Chet’s life.

The video clip is from the end of the show.

Our first performance followed by a ‘critical creative forum’ – a live discussion with the audience about their responses to the work.

Lots of interesting feedback – about the video projections, the integration of jazz and dramatic performance and the extension of the music to add a bass player.

The video clip is Andy and Glenn – the ‘Eleven O’Clock Number’ scene.

Technical rehearsal day but still time to work on some scenes.

We tried out developing the BakerLite scene (Let’s Get Lost) by playing the intro in a loop with a sequence of movements as Chet prepares both to sing and get shaved. It would be good to work on more sequences like this and finding more opportunities for the gestures to respond to the music and vice-versa.

A day of starting to put it all together. It’s interesting that as close as you get to running the whole thing, gaps seems to appear and you become all too aware of the lack of development time left!
Andrea’s responses to the Baker themes are great and we played around with different ways of embedding them within the work – a lot of on-the-fly editing going on.

Let’s hope there’s time to still play around and improvise some more before Friday!

Three major events today:

The Line For Lyons scene – we decided to move completely away from question and answer and just deal with responses, with both actors playing Baker and improvising off of each others’ answers. This worked so much better and gives a lot more to play with.

Secondly, in the Love & Loneliness scene – we merged all the dialogue into a montaged, condensed monologue by Chet’s alter ego. Again, much more powerful – and we decided with The Thrill Is Gone, less is more and we should work more with light and shadows rather than naturlistic drug taking.

We also started trying out the shaving sequence with Let’s Get Lost – something we adapted from a photograph of Chet shaving. Lots of potential here.

Monday, February 12th 2007

Today started with introductions, ripened with table-work and read-throughs, evolved with character analysis/background, and developed it’s productivity through the processes and initial groundwork of “free-based” improvisation.

Many conceptual issues were addressed aided by music and video to come to some sort of understanding of the path this project will be taking, as well as the many ways available to interpret the life of Chet Baker…when, as we found, he was even unable to do effectively when he was alive.

The latter part of the day was reserved for exercises on immediacy and lying; something subconsciously mastered by the man himself. A YouTube video link is included below for the curious observer:

Saturday 15th October, 2005
Nicholai La Barrie and Steven Beckenham.
Initial research meeting.
Feedback from reading Deep in a Dream biography.
Watched Let’s Get Lost.
Talked about the nature of the project – using found text.
Everyone very excited about that.
Talked about where the show might start, at what point in Chet’s life.
Talked about the need to make two lists:
– one of songs
– one of lines we think are important from people, including Chet.
Steve took Ronnie Scotts DVD to watch.
Nicholai took Live in Japan to watch.
Rehearsed My Funny Valentine with trumpet and piano – very good fun!