Saturday, October 6, 2007
It is finished.
Okay. That’s slightly over-dramatic if you catch the analogy.
It was a great day. A great send-off. We had two full houses. Two very receptive audiences. Two fine shows. I don’t think we were terribly reverend about the show coming to its close. In the end, it didn’t turn out to be that kind of theatre-making or that kind of company, though I so wanted that. (Just look back at my little prayer on the first day of rehearsal!) The desire for this to be special to everyone is a personal longing, I realise that. And a little naive, most likely. The most important thing is that it was special to the people who came to see it, particularly the people in Ottawa. It was a “hot ticket”. Something not to miss.
In between shows I went to the Byward Market with young Jenny. A chance to touch base with the person I was closest to through the entire proceedings. We had sushi, and a good chat about what had passed, and what was to come. Finding the perspective to move forward as we wrap things up. I think Jenny Young is the cat’s ass. There. I said it.
The market was also winding down to its close at five o’clock as we busied through the stalls to find a few items for our respective Thanksgiving dinners. It had been a crazy day for the vendors, I’m sure. And then Jenny went to the hotel, and I went to the actors’ quiet room, each for our little naps before the evening show.
It was a fine way to send it off. And also a reminder that anything can happen. Somehow, the cable that moves the trap over the pond got tangled, and when Lisa went to close the trap with a great dramatic gesture… nothing happened. You gotta love those egg-on-the-face moments. For Jade and I it was waiting in the vom for a cue light that wasn’t coming. So out we went onto the stage to see the pond still open. The cast covered reasonably well, I guess. Katie Vine later said she was about to stop the show, when miraculously the panel began to slide, Penny hung on, and the scene progressed as normal. So it wasn’t perfect, but it was grand.
We had a little champagne toast in the hall after the show. Corrine had friends that had flown all the way from Penticton to see the show. Michael Green, from One Yellow Rabbit, came from Calgary. David Latham from Stratford. Caroline from the British Council was there, along with some girls from Grenville College in Cornerbrook. A national and international audience. Josette phoned from Sweden to congratulate us. And we had a good little send off from the NAC with a few off the cuff, heartfelt thanks given from Peter Hinton, and Andy Lunney, and from Moj on behalf of the company.
Then we marched over to Carmello’s, a little Italian restaurant across from the hotel. They were extremely accommodating, and we had a great meal with lots of laughter and conversation.
As is my wont, I was one of the first to go. And I just started weeping. I’m not ashamed. And I’m not self-conscious when I cry. I just go for it. I’m sensitive, and I cry when I’m sad. And it has been such an enormous experience for me personally. So I hugged and gave my love to all with the tears a-streaming. And very kindly, Moj called for a toast to me… as the “heart” of the company. And I am proud to wear that label, and to have the respect of my colleagues. My integrity as an actor is so important to me. And that was that. I drove off to the suburbs.
My brother and his family return from the cottage at midday and we will prepare Thanksgiving dinner. This gives me a little time for reflection, though I know that there will be plenty of time for that in the weeks to come.
For anyone who is still reading… I will submit a prologue and an epilogue within the next week. And then that will be that. We will say goodbye. And thank-you for caring about the theatre. As for me, I would certainly not still be writing if I didn’t care with all my heart.