Backstage Mayhem


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Really dragging my butt. Still… in for the call in the morning.

Notes and bits from the night before, and a couple of cuts to implement. But we will do no major work until Monday. The second preview was a pig for me. I just didn’t have the energy to buoy above the backstage mayhem, and several of my costume changes went for bust again. In one scene I walked on with my head through the arm-hole of my costume. And this particular time I am supposed to get out of the costume onstage. Well, there was no way that was going to happen because I couldn’t budge, and felt a bit like Richard the Third with my head and my arm through the same hole! So I had to leave the stage and not show up into the next scene, in which, thankfully, they didn’t miss me. It was all a bit lumpy technically, but according to Josette and Rae, the story is getting clearer and clearer. And that is most important.

The Suitors 

Much to my horror, as we were getting out of costume, Michael Boyd appeared in the hallway to say that he had seen the show, and congratulating us on a job well done. (I wanted to ask him if he was taking any pointers from my Richard…) Blah. Always hateful when someone you admire so greatly sees a performance that you think sucks.

But I know from twenty-six years of experience – the subtle shifts in performance that we as actors feel are crevasses, are really only imperceptible hairline cracks. So you take the complement with the grace that it is offered. I just hope he comes back again when I can feel the ground beneath my feet.

Notes and bits after the first show. And then a break. I got a longer break than others as I was not involved in some of the bits that were rehearsing, and so got a dinner in our garden, and a little lie down.

I couldn’t sleep. Domestic matters were jamming my frequencies. My email is down and so I feel deeply disconnected from home, and my money transfer has got lost in the snail mail and I will have to deal with that. But nothing I can do until Monday.

Second show was a really good one. Yes! It actually felt like I could see people on the stage for the first time. That the craziness backstage was calming down enough that my feet could actually land in a scene and I could be there. Almost acting. Not quite there yet, but glimpses. Moments of expansion. And that teaches me right away: “This is it. This is the direction to go. Simple. Clear. Just be here.”

Moments of clarity. Possibilities to play. A really hopeful way to leave the play for a much deserved day off.

And maybe, just maybe, a glass of wine or two in The Dirty Duck before crashing! Twist my arm.


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