You must come back to the rehearsal improved
As we looked at in the change it up acting tip, directors love actors to be creative and make offers in the rehearsal room. They also love actors who move rehearsals forward, not backwards.
Due to time constraints, when rehearsing for the stage, you often only scratch the surface of a scene the first time you work on it. Directors are on a tight schedule, and with theatre productions having shorter and shorter rehearsal periods you will often have to move on before the scene has really ‘cracked open’. Even when you have an extensive rehearsal period, you are only likely to visit a scene 2-3 times before you begin doing runs of the play.
It is therefore crucial that when you come back to the rehearsal room for a second time the scene has improved. If you were on book (still using a script) next time, make sure your lines are learnt. If the director planted a few ideas or character suggestions, show them that you have thought about what they’ve said and implemented some of their ideas—not by saying you have, but by showing that you have.
Try to get an idea of what the director wants when you first work on a scene so that you can try to move towards that vision throughout the rehearsal process. If you come back to a scene without having worked on it privately (perhaps having forgotten blocking, detail, or lines) it is likely it would be your last experience working with the director.
Tip: after working on a scene, if you can immediately write down your blocking and any notes, that can be really useful. Often we think we’ve nailed a scene, and perhaps we have, but if you don’t reflect on why then the next day you might be back to square one. If your scene partner is free, have a chat or go work on the scene with them. Honestly doing a small bit of revision is so helpful in solidifying your work.
At the end of the day, every actor has their own process. Just make sure the process moves you and the play forward, not back.