The Aperture begins to close

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Friday, August 17, 2007

An actor’s life is full of transition. So begins another one: packing, banking, finishing up what’s in the fridge, saying good-byes. The aperture begins to close on this picture of the Canadian girls in Stratford-upon-Avon. I don’t realise how close to the surface all this is until George hands us a poem to read in warm-up and I overflow with tears. It has been such an adventure. And I know the adventure continues now with holidays, and Newcastle, and then bringing the project home, but this mind-blowing stay in Stratford will be over in two sleeps.

There is a company meeting in the Swan at 6:30pm. Denise Wood, one of the producers, tells us the bad news. Though they have been working on various possibilities for transfer to Turin and Greece, these negotiations have failed and our option to extend will not be exercised. Disappointing, no doubt. I could have loved a paid holiday in Greece and Italy! But at least we know now, and we begin the mundane task of looking for work at home.

We had a hot show tonight. It was really good. Really focussed, and fun. These internal differences are so subtle, but since we feel them, I’m sure they are conveyed to the audience as well. I bashed my toe open again. It was so close to being healed that I didn’t have a bandage on it. And smash; I was bleeding all over the stage. Sitting there in my pretty silk dress, feeling the blood roll over my toes and splash onto the stage. And at the craziest point in the show for me: one quick change after another. So I run offstage after the scene. My wonderful dresser Keith is there, and there is no time to do anything, but can he give the heads up to the upstage left corner for my next exit. When I go back on I can see these little puddles of my bright red blood glistening on the shiny black floor in Bonnie Beecher’s perfect light. I do the scene and run for the next quick-change. Thank God for Stage Management. In this country, the Stage Manager sits on book in the alcove, while the Deputy Stage Manager calls the show from the booth. So Katie, our new SM came to the rescue. In about 15 seconds she had bandaged and taped my toe and I was able to go back into the scene without a hitch. You see, the drama is not confined to the work on-stage. Sometimes there’s just as much entertainment in the wings!

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