Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Play: Opening Week

OK, so I know how you all are just DYING to find out how opening week for my play went. I'm sure it's hard to think of anything else. Seriously though, how do you stand going about your daily life without knowing? It must be hard. I really feel for you. So...kind person that I am, I decided to fill you in on all the details. You are so very, very lucky!

We started off the week with rehearsals every day - Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. By the time our last dress rehearsal rolled around, we were exhausted. And dying for a real audience.

Thursday was Opening Night. It was a large crowd filled with friendly people. There were members of East Side Players from past shows, the play reading committee and from the board. Cast and crew were each given complimentary tickets so each of us had a familiar face in the audience. For me, it was the Husband. Everyone LOVED the show. They are a bit biased, but still, they loved it. They loved it so much, in fact, that they found it uproariously funny. It was a bit disconcerting. We knew that there were moments with humour written into the script, but we had no idea it was a farce. It was interesting. And kind of fun. It erased my exhaustion for the time being.

There was a wine and cheese after the show, and we got to mingle with the audience. That was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. I usually don't like those kind of things at all, because I am very shy. But person after person came up to me telling me how much they enjoyed the show. I barely had time to eat, and had to make the Husband my fetch-and-carry boy because I was starving! A lot of the people who talked to me were East Side big-wigs, and I've been out of the loop for so long that I had no idea who they were, but had to pretend I did. Very awkward. Bad actor, bad!

The second night's audience was much more subdued. In reality, though, they were very good, and had the kind of response that I was actually expecting for the play. The show, for us, was technically much more smooth (there were a lot of quickly-covered goofs on opening), but our tiredness was starting to show. Everyone needed sleep.

Saturday night was the biggie for me. A bunch of my very favourite bloggirls got together and came to see the show. I was STUPENDOUSLY nervous. Here were a bunch of wonderfully articulate, intelligent, funny and nice women who have never seen me act. It's strange how your mom-life and your work-life can be very separate. What would they think? Would they like the show? I came face to face with the fact that it is one thing to say that you are an actor, and a very different thing altogether to actually have to prove that you can act. Luckily for me, it was a good night, and they seemed to have a good time. I KNOW I had a fantastic time at the bar afterwards. (And really, isn't it ALL ABOUT drinking at the bar afterwards? I'm not an alcoholic! Shut up! I only have trouble drinking when people ask me to stop...)

The Sunday matinée was a bit up and down for me. We had a great crowd. People love matinées for some reason. Me? I loathe them. I think it's weird to do a show when it's still light outside. This week, our matinee (March 1st) is being adjudicated for the ACTCO awards. The house is over-sold for that show. Gulp. Wish me luck. Or break a leg. Or bad rice. Whatever is en vogue these days. I just can't keep up anymore.

Cross posted at Playdate

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is what I look like on chalk.

And the expression pretty much sums up my state of mind for tomorrow's Opening Night.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

If I Only Had the Nerve

They don't call it "Hell Week" for nothing.

Today was the start of a very long week for me. We were in the theatre all day posing as walking and talking props for the crew who are trying to work out the sound and lighting cues for the show. We've done Italian runs and lines runs and just plain running lines, but we haven't done an actual "acting" run in what seems like forever. Tomorrow night we do a Tech Run. Tuesday and Wednesday we do Dress Runs. Thursday, we open the show. And I'm starting to lose my nerve.

Hell, I HAVE lost my nerve.

I've been trying to figure out why.

The other night, while watching Americal Idol (Have you been watching this season? WOW. The singers are AWESOME. Truly exciting.), I finally got it. This means so much to me. More than ever before. I mean, a show opening is always important. Always. I'm not professional, but I try to conduct myself in all my productions as if I am.

I haven't done a show in four years. Four. Long. Years. And then some.

There are people coming to the show who have never seen me act. And that scares me. It scares the living crap out of me. It used to be the kind of thing that excited me, and now it has the exact opposite effect. It's one thing to say that you're an actor, and another thing entirely to prove that you are. People can only judge for themselves based on what they see, especially if they've never seen anything else.

But perhaps that is not exactly the crux of the matter. The fact is that this is the one thing I have right now that is just about me. No one else. And if I don't do this well, where does it leave me? Who am I? I mean, I can't tell you the number of times in the past few years that I have been referred to as C's mum, or just "Mum". Frequently. It's not bad. It's a badge I wear proudly. But one time, a while back, someone asked me what my name was, and I had to stop and think about it. I actually forgot for a second. Weird, huh? Who forgets their own name??

Not to mention that the whole transition to SHAM (uh, SAHM) has been much easier for the simple fact that I am in a play. I am enjoying my time at home because I know that it is balanced with an equal and opposite time away from home. A time without sticky fingers and snotty noses. As of March 7th, that will no longer be true. And that scares me too.

I want to be good. I want to prove the I have skills that don't involve organizing playdates and providing a variety of snack foods for endlessly empty stomachs. I want my family to be proud of me - even the two people who are too small to see the show. I want to renew my faith in myself as someone who has outside talents and interests. I want to make this time that I've spent away from my family, and the countless people that I've inconvenienced for it, worth it.

I want to find the nerve.

And I want this small person in my gut, the one who says I can't do it and I'll never be good enough - good, yes, but never good "enough" - to shut up and go away already. I am sick to death of listening to her. She is killing my buzz. Goodbye.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I am agog.

I am officially impressed. Painted Maypole does, like, four times the amount of shows that I do (or more) and yet she still finds time to post regularly. I'm having a hard time fitting it in. I get about an hour break a day (if the kidlets actually decide to nap), and by the time I finish running my lines, I have - at most - twenty minutes left. I usually fall asleep. Oh yes, I could post after the kids are in bed, but on the nights that I'm home, I'm pretty much a zombie by the time the kids are in bed. I veg out in front of the tv. I manage to watch one show before I konk out. It's sad.

Tonight, we're doing an Italian Run, which means we do all the dialogue and blocking, just really fast. (If anyone out there is Italian, please don't email all up in arms - that's what this kind of run is called. I didn't make it up). On Sunday, we finally move into the theatre. Yahoo! The stage won't be ready yet, so we're going to do a line run in the dressing room, and have our headshots done.

That's one thing that really bugs me about local theatres. I spent a whackload of money on professional headshots so that great lighting and a thick layer of makeup would make me look less scary than usual. And yet every show that I do insists that they have someone come in and take ANOTHER headshot, so that all the headshots look alike. Who cares if they look alike?? I just want to look good. I have three zits right now. I will not look good. I will look tired, old and spotted.

Anyways, Maypole wanted me to post more about the rehearsal process. I realized that I promised I would do that over at Playdate. I am Mama Drama after all. I've been sadly lax about that promise. So I posted the good stuff this week. All the gossip and the drama. Go have a read. I didn't work on my lines that day, so I could share the dirt.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Full Story at 11

Extremely large baby attacks local garage. Motivation seems to be need to use tiny slide. Trail of drool daunting.

Extremely large baby continues trail of carnage -- attracted by helicopter at local airport. Fate of passengers not yet determined.