Lucette

Givens

My name is Lucette Chantal Gautier, I am 31 years old

My parents are both still alive. My father, Jean-Baptiste Gautier, owned a little bistro on the water, and my mother, Adelle Gautier, was a painter. I love both of them very much, though I always had a little stronger of a connection with my mother. I inherited my father’s stubbornness and occasionally fiery temper. However, I never joined in on the conversations he and Marceline had all the time about food and the restaurant. My mother, being an artist, always supported our creativity, and once it became apparent that I had real talent, focused a huge amount of her energy on helping me succeed. I definitely inherited my passion and my talkative nature from her. Neither of them was strict at all, so I’ve never felt compelled to follow rules. They were not terribly happy when I informed them that I was moving to Paris because I was pregnant, but they did let me. They only insisted that Marceline move with me. They have only seen my son once; they came up soon after he was born. They are still living in Monte Carlo, but life in Paris is so busy that I hardly ever get down there to see them and our correspondence is only occasional.

I have one younger sister, Marceline. She is three years younger than me. Our relationship has always been pretty strained. She gets jealous of my success, and often I do not understand her mood swings. She will get so frustrated and huffy, and I just have no idea where it comes from. When I was eight and she was six, we had a double act that we would perform all the time in our father's restaurant, for all our neighborhood friends as everyone was closing up. Marceline would dance and I would play the piano for her. Though it wasn’t part of the act, I would often sing along to my playing, and I always thought that Marceline enjoyed it. One night when we were performing something new, and I loved the song so much that I started to sing the lyrics. I didn’t think that Marceline would mind because her dancing was so cute anyway, and I knew that I had a pretty voice; I just couldn’t help myself. The guests started to listen to my singing rather than watch my sister, and after we were done, they each complimented me on my lovely voice. Unfortunately no one paid much attention to Marceline. That night I was captivated with the idea of singing professionally. Marceline really loved to dance, and my mother had been saving up money to pay for dance lessons. However, once my talent was discovered, we used that money to pay for singing lessons for me. Marceline accidentally got pushed into my shadow, and I don’t think she has ever really forgiven me. I think that part of her rebellion has been to resist acting like a lady, so I constantly have to check and correct her behavior, and when we are in larger company I do not appreciate having to play the mother.

There was also another event that created a lot of tension between us involving a boy. I was 17, she was 15, and Philippe was the son of a luxury ocean liner captain. Marceline always liked to go down to the weekly market that was on the water, and one day she met Philippe there. The ocean liner had just docked in our town, and he was due to stay there for a few weeks. They began to meet at the market each week, and Marceline did seem to have some inclination towards him. I guess he was able to talk with her about books and food, topics that I could never really engage him. However, she never confessed anything about her feelings to me. His father joined the high society circle and met our mother, so I had the occasion to meet Philippe at a dinner event. He was much closer to my age than Marceline’s, tall and incredibly handsome, and I fell in love with him that evening. This was the first time when I truly felt I had met the more wonderful boy in the world, and I couldn’t bear to let him go. Although in the back of my mind I knew that he was better suited to Marceline and that she liked him, he was my first love and I could not deny it. The short time that we spent together was so wonderful and I felt completely oblivious to the rest of the world. Eventually, his ship had to leave and I was desolate without him. I could do nothing but cry for days on end, and I spent all my time either glumly walking our old paths or crying in my room. Marceline was strangely quiet and unsympathetic during this time, so she must have been angry.

Marceline, at the insistence of our parents, moved with me to Paris almost seven years ago. She lived in the house with Chenneviette and me, and was an indispensable help when I was pregnant. Whereas I usually act as the mother figure for her, during that time she took the lead. She came with me when I left Chenneviette and now lives in my apartment. I find it very comforting to have her in the house, so I do not always feel so alone when there is not a man around.

I am actually quite dependent on my sister. I depend on her constant presence to keep me grounded, and she always makes me feel better about myself. She helps me carry costumes to shows and dutifully does what I tell her. In reality she is the only constant person I have in my life and puts up with my crazy moods. Even though we have difficulties, there is deep sisterly love, and I count on her for that when I need her most.

I have one child with Gaston Chenneviette, a boy named Gaston Jean-Paul Bertram Monfils Franco Gautier-Chenneviette. It was clearly a mistake to let his father name him. He is just six years old. He looks so much like his father, but has my eyes and smile, and he really is quite adorable. I share the expenses of raising him, but I really do not have much involvement in his life. He lives with his father because I really cannot possibly take care of him, especially being gone at nights. It is very important for me to make good impressions among my wealthier friends, and meeting them with a child makes appearing respectable much more difficult.

I grew up in Monte Carlo, and my whole family lived there until I was twenty. It was such a vibrant city to grow up in, and I had a very happy childhood there. There was always so much glamour and excitement around the city, always full of movement. It was also the perfect location for the beginning of my singing career. I loved to sing in my father's restaurant for all our neighbors, and then I easily graduated to larger venues, like the famous nightclubs. There was something inherently mysterious and alluring about singing at a nightclub.

I almost graduated from a secondary school in Monte Carlo. I was never tremendous at school, and easily got bored with sitting still for so long. There were so many other exciting things going on in my life because of singing that I just felt I did not fit in with the kids in my class. School knowledge wasn't valuable to me, so I convinced my parents that I should quit. Anyway, Marceline was succeeding at school, so I was so busy at that point with performing, not to mention that I was worked late into the night so waking up early was not pleasant, that school never held any fascination for me.

I first feel in love at seventeen, with Philippe, and been some sort of in love ever since. I am either hopelessly in love with someone, or getting over them because something has prevented us from being together. I fall easily, but do not easily give up. I do attract maybe more than my fair share of admirers (which of course I enjoy terribly). I feel like a lot of that comes from being a nightclub singer, where the usual crowds are generally single men with some money. And it is a singer’s job to impress and entertain. It is not uncommon for multiple men to be in love with me at once, and I feel bad that I have to turn them all away. They are always so kind, and I do love to receive their presents.

I met Gaston Chenneviette in Monte Carlo. He had traveled down from Paris with his town friends to spend time by the shore and at the casinos. He attended on of the nightclub and casinos where I worked, and he came back four nights in a row. He sought me out after the show one night, and I was quite captivated by him. He was incredibly handsome and had a wonderfully intriguing reckless reputation. I fell deeply in love with him and spent all my time with him, exploring the most glamorous of the Monte Carlo scene. He fit right in to my world of nightclubs and playing games with the rich people, and he made my life more exciting. He would come and go from Paris, increasing his trips the longer we were together. Then, after six months together, I got pregnant. The easiest thing to do, certainly to preserve my parents’ reputation in the city, was to move to Paris to be with Chenneviette. He had a lovely house and he promised that he would take care of me. So I packed up everything and brought Marceline along with me to Paris. For the first few months, living in Paris with him was magical and I was incredibly happy. But pregnancy did not really agree with me, and I was incredibly irritable and rash, lashing out ever more than I do in regular life. Then suddenly I had a baby to take care of, and I was quite overwhelmed. My life was not turning out as glamorous as I had expected it to be. There were so many constant demands on me about taking care of this child that I had no time for myself or to even see anyone outside my house. I could not realistically continue living there and maintain anything about who I was. Gaston had asked me to marry him shortly after coming to Paris, so I had to break off the engagement. Frankly, a lot of the excitement had disappeared from our relationship, and I was a little bored. A year after my son was born I found my own apartment and left Chenneviette.

I fell in love with Fernand Bois D’Enghien the very moment I saw him. Two years and seven months ago, he came to see one of my shows. He was sitting up near the front, so I could easily see him from the stage. He was absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t take my eyes off him the whole show. I prayed that he would come backstage after the show, and in the mess of people there I searched for him. We were finally introduced and we talked for hours, leaving to go to a tiny romantic café when they needed to close up the theater. We ended up going back to my apartment and from there our relationship just grew and became my whole life. Look at the text. I believe Marceline says you have known him for longer. Fernand and I first met when we were students in Monte Carlo. We attended schools near each other, and I would often sneak out to meet him in at a little grassy park at the water. I could lie there for hours, and even when he claimed that I was annoying him, I knew that it was all just an act. We were constantly toying and playing small games with each other, and we eventually turned the game on other people. We were both quite popular, so to add a whole new level of excitement, we decided that we would set up little traps, where either he or I would pretend to be interested in someone, and then the other would suddenly appear and either add to the flattery or play the scorned lover. We thrived on the power and the teamwork. We were forced apart when he was called away to the country for family matters, and we slowly drew apart. I fell in love with others, especially Chenneviette. I expected never to see him again. Yet, he came to see one of my shows in Paris and I knew that we were meant to be together.

Fernand and I have this game that we play where we team up and ensnare all the rich and influential men that flock to me. I can afford to live the way I do because I rarely have to pay for anything. All my fabulous jewelry and dresses are presents, and Fernand and I share the wealth that accumulates. I do the seducing, and Fernand helps to trap them and encourage them to fall for me. It really is all a game, because I am so completely devoted to Fernand, but it’s exciting for both of us. I never go all the way in seducing these men because usually that is when Fernand steps in, but I do just enough to have a tremendous influence over them. It’s a thrilling game, and every time we make a conquest, I love Fernand all the more and cannot keep myself away from him.

Two weeks ago, for no reason at all, Fernand just disappeared. He was not waiting for me after my show like I was expecting, and I never heard from him. Two whole weeks of total silence, completely out of the blue. I was the biggest wreck I have ever been, which says quite a lot. I refused all help, because I felt that nothing could possibly heal me. I really felt ready to die rather than be without him. It was impossible to drag myself out of bed before early afternoon in the afternoon for days on end, because I tossed and turned thinking of him and puzzling out what possibly could have happened to him. I even canceled some of my shows; I could not perform knowing there was no way he could be in the audience, and I just felt so utterly alone.

I am a nightclub singer. I have never had any other career, and I do not plan on having a different one. I simply adore what I do, and I am quite good at it as well. The early part of my career happened in Monte Carlo, where I really broke on to the nightclub scene. A friend of my parents who owned a club in Paris saw one of my shows in Monte Carlo and offered me a job in the city if I ever wanted it. Once I moved to Paris because of the baby and Chenneviette, I took up that opportunity and starting working again. I have gotten more and more famous in Paris, and am often sought out to sing at private society events.

Movement:
I lead from my hips, but my gestures and movements center from my chest. I think that she incorporates many of her dance moves from her show in her everyday life, so that everything is calculated to be bigger and designed to grab attention. I think that she is very much in control of her whole body, her hands, her fingers, her legs, because of dancing in her shows. I am looking for a song or two that she would have sung in her show, and choreograph a whole number. She carries that sense of performance almost all the time, constantly seeking the attention of all these people and manipulating them like she is on stage. Rehearse one or two of her numbers in the privacy of your own home and add all the gestures. You will discover a few gestures to fold into your character. Do this exercise more that once, do it each night for awhile. You will be amazed at how the physical and vocal life of this character opens up to you.

Voice:
I am working on the variety of the voices that Lucette uses. She is a singer, so she speaks naturally very smoothly. I think that when her temper flares up, she speaks in a much more staccato and abrupt way, then slinks back into fluidity when she calms down. Also, when she purposefully goes incredibly dramatic, I think that she gets more breathy and the words even more connected. Be careful about choosing breathiness — often the actor will use less air and be harder to hear. Breathiness is a the result of a surplus of air. Work with David on this choice. Different choice: not breathy, but elongates her words a little more, putting slightly more emphasis on the vowels.
I am also working on finding her "normal" pitch, which I think is a little higher than my own. When she is trying to be seductive her pitch drops more and she speaks with more range, and when she is upset she is all over the place, even higher.

Relationships

Bois D’Enghien: I am irrevocably and absolutely in love with Fernand. We have incredibly similar personalities, which makes us a wonderful calculating yet charming team. We have been together for a long time, so I fully expect that someday we will get married. Since he has come back to me, he has been acting somewhat strange, so I’ve have to keep a closer eye on him. I cannot tell if he is still sick as he said he was, or if something is going on. But I know that he still loves me, so I’m not worried at all about the problem being with me. I just have to work a little bit harder to pull his focus back to me. (Longer history in givens)
Bouzin: He is a composer who sent a song to me that he said he had written for me. I really had no idea who he was, for good reason as it turned out. His song was laughably bad and there was no way I would ever sing it. He was quite presumptuous to approach me at all. For a time though I thought that he was responsible for a gorgeous bouquet and ring sent to me, and then I was terribly angry about how I brushed him away. Now that I have discovered that he took credit from the General, I cannot stand that sight of him and don’t hesitate to make my displeasure known.
The General: He is my most devoted and unusual admirer yet. I have never met anyone like him before, with his intensity and disregard for usual decorum. It must have something to do with him being foreign. Though sometimes he says indelicate things, I do know that it is most likely a mistake, which is endearing. He is certainly the wealthiest man I know; his gifts are absolutely unparalleled. I am not in love with him, but I am certainly interested in keeping him around and interested. He is the perfect object for my favorite game, and I know Fernand will agree, and this will be our best conquest yet.
Chenneviette: He is my ex-fiancé and the father of my son. We have a lot of history, but are still very much in contact. There is always a subtle power struggle between us. He does a bit of womanizing reputation, so I have to keep him in line. ??? (sorry about that!)I have to draw very clear boundaries with him when he comes on to me, but then I also cannot stand when he fawns on other women. Admittedly he is just an accessory, but he is my accessory, and I have to make sure that he, and everyone else, remembers that. (Longer history in givens)
Fontanet: Despite his breath, Fontanet is one of most dedicated friends. He is truly kind and always very complimentary of me. I met him when he came to the opening night of one of my shows; he was good friends with the producer. We both attended a dinner after the show and we talked for a long time. He is also of a higher class than me, so he is a valuable connection to maintain.
Firmin: I really could not manage without Firmin. He does everything in the house: cleans, makes my appointments, organizes my parties, everything. Seeing Firmin angry would be horrible, I depend on him to be stable. I do know that he sometimes gives Marceline extra food and I try to curb that as much as possible and engage his help in making her act like a lady. The only frustrating thing is that he refuses to handle my clothes or pick them up, so I often have to enlist Marceline to help.
Antonio: He is really nothing to me, just in the employ of the General. Of the pair of them, he is not really worth much notice. I do realize that he proves useful for translating and carrying flowers. I notice that Marceline tries to catch his attention, and while I think it is highly amusing to watch her try, I will not approve if he starts to return the attention.
Marceline: My younger sister and I have a difficult relationship. She is getting more and more headstrong and does not always listen to me, which is incredibly frustrating. I am trying my best to polish her behavior, especially when she is sullen, but she is staring to get more rebellious. And I don’t like that. Fortunately with her I never have to control my temper. (History in givens)
Madame Duverger: I was honored that she hired me to sing at her party. She is much higher class and richer than me, so this job could be a huge break for me. It gives me the opportunity to be seen and heard by many very important people. I really want to impress her.
Viviane: I do not know her at all, and barely have heard of her in society news. I’m very happy for her that she is getting married, but once I see what an effect she has on all my men, I have mixed feelings towards her. I do not like having even a hint of competition.
Nini: She is a very dear friend of mine. She is a charming girl, and we complement each other very well. She became almost a little project of mine; she is not incredibly intelligent and was happy to be taken under my wing. She is of a lower class than me, although I am not so high up, so I was the one who starting inviting her to nice dinners and teaching her class. However, now she has gotten confident and starting venturing out on her own, and the fact that she managed to get engaged to a Duke without my help frustrates me so much! I do not love her so much as to wish to see her rise farther than me.

Moment Before/ Moment After

Act One
Before: I have just spent the night with Bois D'Enghien, and have spent the whole morning with him, not even bothering to get dressed.

After/Before: I drag Fernand right back into my bedroom where we take up where we left off, though slowly getting ready for lunch. I get distracted when Chenneviette and Nini arrive, and I have been listening to everything they say, gloating about Fernand's return.

After/Before: Luckily escaping Chenneviette when he cornered me about money for our son, I go in to have lunch with all my friends, feeling quite superior with Fernand there. Fernand behaved extremely strangely, refusing to sit next to me or even really talk to me. Marceline tried to hide her extra slices of cake from me, and Firmin was annoyingly absent and unhelpful. I kept worring that something has upset Fernad or made him unwell.

After/Before: I give Chenneviette the money he asks for and arrange to keep him busy with complicated directions of where to send money to creditors and letters to my bank. I am anxious to keep him out of the way for the game with Bouzin.

After/Before: I see Bouzin out the door, flirting with him and teasing him until he flat out runs away.

After/Before: Fuming that Chenneviette interrupted us and that Fernand was being so distant and difficult, I go tearing through my room looking for a stamp. I yelled at Firmin to find it for me, and proceeded to rage around my room before I could calm myself. I decided to harden my resolve, and go back to Fernand and kick Chenneviette out.

After/Before: Relieved to have time to formulate a plan to deal with the very emotional General, I go to meet Madame Duverger about an event. Her job offer is huge and would be wonderful for my career, so I was delighted to be asked. Madame Duverger gave me some invitations, and I want to have as many people as possible witness my success.

After/Before: I find Marceline and sit her down to plan my program and costumes for tonight's show. I will require her help and carrying and arranging everything. I hear noise in my drawing room, and am afraid that the General discovered something about me and Fernand.

After: I see the General and Antonio goodbye, try unsuccessfully to convince Fernand to stay, and then go find Marceline. Despite the details of the show to arrange, I can't help but start elaborating all about Fernand's return and the intriguing new General, pouring my heart out to her. Then I make her leave me alone so I can prepare.

Act Two
Before: Madame Duverger's house is grander than most of the clubs in which I have ever sung, and I am incredibly excited about this evening. I have a nice entourage with me (Marceline, Firmin, and Chenneviette) and I am imagining a much brighter future for my career.

After/Before: I carefully inspect Madame Duverger's drawing room, terrified of a real draft there. I make Marceline and Firmin search in all the corners and windows. When they don't find anything I am quite embarrassed and worried that I have upset Madame Duverger.

After/Before: Chenneviette forced me out of the rooom for no reason at all, and tries to show me exactly where the draft is. I know perfectly well that there is none, so I try to get back into the drawing room where Fernand is. He refused to let Marceline and I back in.

After: Complete chaos ensues, thanks to me. I managed to completely humiliate Fernand in front of his once mother-in-law and fiancé, and now the General wants to kill him. The house was in complete shock. Obviously Madame Duverger was fuming at me as well, but nothing compared to Fernand. I could have withstood all the insults in the world I was so elated by crushing Fernand completely. I had Marceline and Firmin gather up my things and went right home.
Do you enjoy this level of drama? After all it puts your squarely in the center of all the attention. I successfully maintained my dignity because the uproar was all about him, while it would have been all badly reflecting on me if I had immediately gotten angry. I very much enjoyed having all the attention be on me. There was no question that everything this evening was about me, even though it wasn't even my engagement party.

Act Three
Before: Despite the scene last night, I decided to go see Fernand and reclaim him. Now that he is no longer engaged, I should be able to convince him to come back to me. We kid around and fight often enough that he cannot think I was completely serious. But I am prepared to fight and threaten to keep him attached to me if necessary. You will need to approach him differently than before. We at least need to see she how the prior evening has effected her. I realize that I overstepped last night, that I went a little too far with my revenge. I am hoping that he will forgive and just laugh it off, and then we can go back to the way we were. I know that I acted badly and I am sorry, but I am hoping that Fernand is not too mad at me. I am sure that he will not act happy to see me, but I do think that I can convince him of my sincerity. I really do want to win him back, show him that I am sorry. All the trouble I caused was done out of love for him.

After: I am totally shocked that he threw me out. He rejected me, and that has never happened before. My threats didn't work, nothing worked to make him make me stay. I slowly make my way home, and by the time I get there I realize that maybe this is not the end of the world. I tell Firmin to arrange a lovely dinner, and send him to invite Chenneviette, the General, Nini, all the friends I can summon. I don't change. Ah, but you are in more control. You may have lost this round but you are in better position to control the General and maintain the life style you want. In a manner that she could not have predicted she gets her super-objective. She gets to be a free agent, adored, lavished with gifts, the center of everyone's lives and have to do little to get what she wants. She has the power. Who do you think she ends up with three months from now? I am in fact better off without Fernand. He never really gave me all the attention that I wanted, and I was so blind with love that I could not see that he was holding me back. I have plenty of admirers now that I do not have to constantly check on or pull towards me; it is much more fun to have them all simply gravitate towards me. Yes I lost Fernand, but he isn't really what I wanted or needed, in the end. The General is a much more pleasing admirer, certainly richer, and he has no barrier with Fernand gone. I always had to work for Fernand's attention, which was so not worth the trouble, so I am happy to be rid of that burden. I toy with the General for some time, but I refuse to return to Spain with him. Chenneviette began to appear regularly, especially since the General left me so many valuable presents I don't have a lack of money, and it is similar to how we were when we first met. I think that I end up with him.

Life of the Character
My inspiration comes from a fan that I use in all of my shows. It came from the first theater that I worked at in Monte Carlo. My first costume was an all-white ensemble, with this fan made of giant white feathers. I used it in every show and it became a feature of my image. As I was packing up my dressing room after my final show when I was leaving for Paris, I saw it on the table and could not bear to leave it behind. Knowing that no one would miss it, I allowed it to accidentally fall into my bag. I couldn’t possibly return it once I got to Paris, so I happily kept it. I feel confident and powerful when I have it with me. A fan is inherently elegant and lady-like, but it also reminds those around me to pay attention to me. It’s a hard thing to ignore.
Nice choice. Can we repair the fan or do we need to get a new one?

Reassessing Choices
The First Run Through (10/18): Overall I think that the first run went pretty well and was very helpful to do. I was nervous going into Sunday’s run because I knew I did not have as solid a handle on my lines as I wanted. Until about the end of Act II, however, I did better than I thought. The run showed me that I really would benefit from constantly going through the logic and motivation of each movement or sentence; Lucette is a lot more calculating than I am, and everything always has a purpose. I also want to look very carefully where she takes control or loses her temper. Because even though her temper is unpredictable, it always is precipitated by something. I also saw how easily I lose character voice and physicality when I am focusing too much on the lines or blocking. I really need to work on her voice(s), I still do not have a good handle on that. The run through really showed the high stakes and emotion of Lucette’s story. This day is not typical, and everything is escalating beyond what she expected. The contrast between Act 1 and 2 is greater than I realized; I have pretty good control over everyone in Act 1, but then I am no longer in my own territory and have to work harder to establish my realm. I’ve been thinking a lot more about how she feels a little out of place in other people’s domains, so works very hard to instantly command the room. From there she can get what she wants. That may be why she brings Marceline, Firmin, and Chenneviette with her. She descends on Madame Duverger’s house, but obviously cannot control everything like she can at home. The run through in general was pretty choppy, but I think it was a very good idea to do one so early because it added a sense of urgency with the scenes all pieced together.
Notes Given & Addressed
Act 1:
Time out reprimanding Fernand and Chenneviette - Now I beat more on Chenneviette and take him by the ear, this is working better
Slower rise to anger with Fernand - I am just more aware of controlling the anger and fishing for more information from him before exploding
More precision with the noses with Fernand
More movement in the whole General scene - I am trying to not just sit in the SR chair, just stand up and walk, looking for places where it is slightly logical
Enter earlier for last scene with the fight
Act 2:
Look at how to handle the flowers - more gently, imagining how delicate the roses would actually be
Argument with Marceline starts right away - we can easily rise to anger and start yelling
*Why did I bring the gun? - I forgot that I had the gun in my bag, I put it in with my other props when I was leaving the house. When Fernand started talking about getting married, I was hoping that there was something in my bag that would help me, even something I could just throw. It was an accident, but I was so relieved to see it there.
Act 3:
Need more of a pose for "I love you"
Need a coat, wrap, or shawl thing

Transforming the Theater: Props and Costumes
Props
Ring: Preset in the bouquet, I wear it for the rest of the act, and then return it to it's ring box SR. This ring is one of the most gorgeous pieces of jewelry I have ever received. It is a wonderful gift from the General, and even when I think it is Bouzin it changes the way I treat him.
Invitation: Pick up SL, give it to the General. This is an invitation to Madame Duverger's party, the most high society event I have ever done. I am incredibly excited about this, and very much want to have audience members who are there just to watch me, so I hope Fernand and the General will take them.
Gun: (Act 2) preset in carpet bag, I replaced it there. (Act 3) preset in carpet bag, Fernand keeps it as I exit. This gun is a prop that I use in some of my shows. I find that I always get a very strong reaction when people think it is real, so I do like to keep it handy just in case I need to do some negotiating.
Carpet Bag: pick up SL, carry it off with me downstairs. I carry all my most important props and belongings in this bag, which I take from show to show and everywhere I go.

Costumes
Robe and slip/undergarment: top of Act 1, end of Act 2. These are items that I brought with me from Monte Carlo. The robe was a gift from my mother and I wear it all the time.
Purple dress with white neckline: majority of Act 1. This dress was a present from Fernand and is one of my very favorite. I thought it was an appropriate choice given that he has just come back. And purple is my signature color.
Purple and gold dress: almost all of Act 2. This dress is the fanciest one I own. I wanted to look my absolute best for this party.
Purple dress with dark trim: Act 3. This dress was also a gift (most of the nice things I have are gifts) from some admirer or the other, but I thought that it was appropriately demure for asking for forgiveness. But still purple.
Fur wrap: Act 3. This wrap makes me feel incredibly sophisticated and high-class, and I love walking through Paris with it.

Character Diary

Dear Diary,
About 2 o’clock: I am taking a break from preparing for my show tonight to chronicle what is sure to be the start to a very important evening in my career. My life has completely turned around since yesterday. My entries of late have been lamenting the loss of Fernand and envisioning the world losing all its meaning. But last night, Fernand reappeared at my door! He gave a perfectly acceptable excuse for his two week absence. The poor boy got into a terrible accident and has been slipping in and out of consciousness. And he said that he did not want to tell me because he knew that I would worry myself sick over him and he did not me to see him in such a weak state. I could have been very angry with him, but I was so pleased with his explanations that I let him right in; really how could I have refused him after such an ordeal? I woke up this morning happier than I have ever been. What a lovely surprise it was to wake up and have him there, proving I had not just dreamed of his return. More successes followed, so many that I can barely remember that Nini is going to be a Duchess. I am sure the marriage will fall through anyway. General Irrigua came to visit me. What a surprising man, so exotic with his Spanish accent and it very exciting to have an admirer who is so incredibly wealthy. Bouzin, when it appeared he would be a good object for Fernand and I, is nothing compared to the General. And just now I received a call from Madame Duverger to ask me to sing at her daughter Viviane’s engagement party. This party is the most fashionable event I have ever done, and I just tell that it is going to make me a huge success. Maybe someday I can even stop working at le Chat Noir and be a real singer. Oh, wouldn’t that be lovely. Marceline is being unbearably unpleasant, so I must make sure that she is properly arranging all my costumes.

Monday morning: Last evening could not have been more of a shock. In no way did it enfold as I imagined. Everything was fine when I arrived and I felt quite equal to Madame Duverger, I was pleased with my comportment, and Fernand even appeared. But I received the shock of my life when I found out that he was there because he was getting married to Viviane! It was his engagement party too! Madame Duverger told me, and in that moment I stopped breathing. I looked at him and all I saw was complete betrayal. He had come back and made me believe that he still loved me, but that whole time he was lying. I was furious and I almost slapped him right there in that room. All I wanted to scream at him and make him feel a smidge of the hurt I was feeling. Luckily I realized that this scene would unfortunately reflect very badly on me. I would appear to be the bad guy, and I would get thrown out of the house. This opportunity was too good for me to waste, so in order to save my reputation I pretended to faint. It was the only thing I could do. Fernand absolutely broke my heart with what I heard when I was “fainted”. I knew that I needed to embarrass him so thoroughly in front of Madame that she would not allow him to marry Viviane. The plan I came up with was quite brilliant. I noticed the flowers the General had given me and remembered the sharp thorns. I fooled Fernand into thinking that I had forgiven him and then I stuck one of those sharp roses right down his back. I made sure that he could not get it out without taking off his clothes, creating the perfect image that when Madame came bursting into the room, it looked like quite a scandalous scene. I was firmly at the center of attention, but not at the center of anger, exactly what I wanted.
However, I woke up this morning and realized that winning Fernand back is going to be very hard. As much as I hate to admit it, I overstepped and went farther than I should have. But I was so anger and hurt that I could not stop myself. I love him so much that I could not bear the thought of losing him. Yet now I am afraid that I will lose him anyway because he will be so mad at me. I really hope that he will just laugh the whole scene off and be relieved that I stopped him from marring her. I do not think it is likely that he will, but I may be able to convince him to. I am going to go to his apartment and see him, do anything to get him back. I have to succeed. I just have to.

Monday afternoon: Fernand does not love me. He threw me out of his apartment. I have never been rejected this way. Ever. I am in shock and distressed to the bottom of my heart. Playfulness didn’t work, seduction didn’t work, anger didn’t work, and hysterics didn’t work. None of my tools worked like they used to. I was powerless to make him make me stay. I returned home an absolute mess, and Marceline wasn’t even there to comfort me. The General called to see me after that terrible scene last night, and I knew that I could use him to help me get Fernand back. I told the General that I would never be his unless Fernand came back to me. I know that that idea does not really make sense, but luckily he did not understand that complications of my deal. Language barriers can be so nice sometimes. It would actually work out very nicely because the General is fun to keep around and toy with, but Fernand I actually love. This was my last chance to get him back, and I hoped the General would be able to accomplish what I could not. After all, Fernand was scared of him so he might have agreed. But the General returned unsuccessful and brought the most horrible message from Fernand. Fernand actually had the nerve to say that I had “imperfections”, which is blatantly not true and he knows it. He is the worst, the most spiteful and cruel person I know. I am starting to wonder what I ever saw in him. If anyone has imperfections, it’s him. Although to be fair, they would be the flaws in his personality. I am bruised by his treatment of me, but I am thinking that I can survive quite well enough if I never see him again.

Evaluations
Monday 10/2
I was really happy with tonight’s rehearsal. Finally the Bouzin seduction scene, the Act 1 and 2 scenes with Fernand, and the first General scene went really well! During the scenes I tried to focus on connecting with them and striving to have control. I was able to have fun with them, and could feel the relationships coming very easily. I think that the new blocking with Charles works very well, and is a lot easier to do in costume than the piggy back. It was a little strange today since we had never done it, but I think it will be fine.
One thing that did not work today was the lovely moment when I tripped and feel to the ground in the Nini scene. I do not really know what happened but I got caught up in my dress. Though it was an obvious mistake, it interestingly gave me something strong to work against. Suddenly I had a whole lot more dignity to regain, in front of Nini of all people. There were also a few times when I dropped my fan or I stumbled, so I know I have to watch out for those. I would love to not be so clumsy, but if it happens I will just work it in, Lucette is flawed too.
Two notes that I definitely needed were to make the flowers a bigger deal and to regroup when Firmin interrupts Chenneviette. I originally was thinking that I was so focused on Fernand’s strange behavior that I did not really notice the flowers, but that did not really translate or make much sense. The scene with Chenneviette also went much better today, but I do need to regain ground when Firmin comes in. I will definitely work on these things.
I am very pleased with how this rehearsal went. I feel so good about those major scenes that have finally become “nice” and not “clean up”. I also felt good about my lines, though I know I paraphrased and will work on that, and there were nothing too troublesome.

Tuesday 10/3
Though tonight was a little more flawed, I think the rehearsal went well and I am happy with the show in general. Notes from Maura are still pending at this time, but I know that some things went wrong that I had to cover. The energy of the scenes, however, still felt good. Again the Fernand scenes, the Bouzin scene, and the General scene felt pretty strong and I felt very connected and in the moment with them. A very nice feeling about something that’s working.
There were a few breaks tonight that were unfortunate. The unzipping of my dress during the General scene was unexpected, and it did cause me to break focus a little, but it taught me the valuable lesson to double check whether the top hook is hooked because it obviously makes a difference. So that was a good thing to happen now instead of during a performance. The other break was more my fault. It was when Fontanet was saying, “He’s a millionaire all right, and what’s more I think he’s in love”, except tonight Sam said “He’s a millionaire all right and he must have…” leading into “He must have money to burn”. I tried not to laugh because it would be such a funny substitution to make, but in trying not to laugh I accidentally spit on Sam. We both knew it had just happened and were trying not to laugh but it was incredibly difficult. I could barely get my lines out and tried, however unsuccessfully, to disguise my laugh as reaction to his smell. I will not let that happen in a performance, I cannot let myself do that because I know it takes me a little time to recover. I also said “ruby” instead of “sapphire” at one point, referring to the ring. And the strand of pearls could not fit over my head when they were doubled, and they someone broke, but I believed Mrs. Hughes found a way to fix them.
I still feel like I am missing a piece of the faint moment. Having the four steps (“Fiancé!” scream, look, faint) helps a lot, but I feel like in that moment there is so much internal monologue stuff going on that I want to find a better way to translate it all. The scream is my immediate rush of hurt and anger at Fernand. In my head there is the quick process of how I just want to beat and scream at Fernand right there, but I know that that will only reflect badly on me and I would be the one thrown out of the house. In order to save face, I decide that I have to faint. I want him to get punished and be embarrassed, not me. All of this I want to try and put into the “look”, resulting in some kind of obvious decision to “faint”. I am just working through on my own how those thoughts would appear on my face to make it clear what I am doing. I can get it. We are also going to rework the timing of the Act 1 kiss with Fernand.
I have been realizing that my choice to have Lucette’s voice pitched slightly lower than my own has not been working. I still love having a range for her, and a consciously lower voice when trying to be seductive or manipulative. I tried letting her “regular” voice be pitched higher, and that has really worked for me. It is easier for me to slip into and it seems to fit well with the movement and tactics. I always found myself struggling to stay in that lower pitch, but now I see that as more of a tool rather than how I need to talk all the time. This change has been a very helpful one, and I feel that the voice is working much better now.
It is a little big freaky to think that this rehearsal was our last real one before an audience. It does not feel like that at all, and while the idea is very scary, I think that we are fairly ready. I know I definitely have some holes but I feel pretty confident with the last two rehearsals that the show is very good even when things go wrong. I get the feeling that there is a good understanding between most of the cast of what needs to happen and a good deal of adjusting we all do to support each other. I’m feeling quite excited, like things are really working and falling into place.

Thursday 10/5
I cannot believe that we just opened! I am very happy with the overall performance, and I think that the audience loved it too. It went very differently from recent rehearsals, which I found surprising and almost hilarious at times. The show is so crazy that it was almost fitting that crazy things started to go wrong.
My goal for this performance was to take everything to the next level. I focused on exactly what I wanted, attention, and told myself to be ruthless in getting it. I also wanted to be incredibly focused because that was the only way I could maintain the energy level and sense of purpose that I wanted. I think that I was able to achieve my goal, and I was really happy with my energy, but now I want to go on tomorrow with less nerves. It was opening night, I could not help being very nervous.
I feel like tonight’s Act 1 was sloppier and more rushed than it has been in the last rehearsals. Part of that had to do with the settee confusion and also the fact that this was a real performance. By Act 2 we calmed down a little, and I think that was a better act than in rehearsals. It felt faster than our dress rehearsals, like everything was a little step ahead. Maybe that is the nature of the show and farcical aspects, but I was surprised how it felt like we were just barreling through. I think though that the whole energy level was much higher today than in rehearsals. The whole show seems a lot more like a blur than it has all week.
It was very interesting to have an audience. There were certain times when I was surprised they didn’t laugh at things or when they did. Having to hold for laughs was not that bad, and it was wonderful to hear them laughing. It was encouraging and really helped me to keep my energy up, especially during the General scene which they loved. I became aware of how I wanted to clearly communicate certain relationships, tactics, moments, things like that to the audience. It was different than a rehearsal where everyone knows exactly what’s happening; the audience had no idea, and I found myself thinking about what and how I wanted to translate to them. I want to slow down, because I know that I spoke too quickly sometimes, so that everything important just shown. I really enjoyed having the audience there who seemed to enjoy it so much, it spurred me on to keep the energy and my determination up.
For tomorrow’s show, I want to work slowing down and moving and talking with more precision. Now that I have one show under my belt I am more relaxed, so think that everything will seem smoother and less hectic.

Friday 10/6
I feel that this show went even better than opening night, I was really happy with it! Furniture wise it went wonderfully, which was a relief. Like I expected I was not as nervous or all over the place, which the whole show seem much smoother and under control. I feel like accomplished my goal of slowing down and finding more precision. I made a conscious effort to enunciate more and speak slower, but I think that I could be even clearer. I also successfully calmed down at little about performing; the calm off stage made it easier to explode emotionally on stage. Each scene felt a little bit cleaner tonight and I felt we all really connected with each other.
The audience tonight was great, even more responsive than the first. They laughed more often, though it did take a while for them to start. I guess that is just the nature of the show and setting up all the comedy to come. It is so easy to feed off their energy, and it really helped me to have them there. I wrote yesterday about how I wanted to make sure I was communicating everything I needed to, and I felt that I was much better at that tonight. Again, having the audience there made me more energetic, and energy helps me so much in this show, it just makes everything better.
My goal for Saturday is familiar, to push the limits even more. This day for Lucette is when everything comes crashing down around her, so I need to raise the stakes even more. I need her focus of going after everything and everyone 100%. I want to maintain my focus and clarity with my lines and my high energy level. Everything is slipping away from Lucette and she latches on with an iron grip, and especially with tomorrow being the last show and feeling like it’s slipping away, I need that strong purpose.

Saturday 10/7
Again, I was really happy with tonight’s performance. Each night has been very different, with some things going better and other things going a little wrong (for example I accidentally wore the wrong necklace for Act 3). I think that I was able to accomplish my goal, aided by the fact that this was the last time I got to be Lucette. Everything felt a little more desperate, and I tried to be as focused as possible. Because we had most of the day off, I tried to stay in Lucette mode and keep my head in the play as much as possible.
The audience tonight was good, but maybe a tad quieter than the other nights. Tonight the audience seemed to fade away more, and I felt more sincere up on stage. It is hard to describe, but there was almost a level of abandon that I hadn’t felt yet during the show. Maybe it had to do with being the last night, but it seemed that connections came easier, everything felt more natural. For most of the show I barely registered the audience, whereas the two nights before I noticed them more. I put in as much energy as I could possibly muster and I got wrapped up in it and the story that Act 1 was over before I knew it. It was almost a shock, realizing that I would not be doing that again. I was so involved with my attention-seeking objective and energy that I had not thought about that reality. I think that everyone had really nice energy tonight and our energy fed off each others to keep going.

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