And on the seventh day, we rested. And it was good.
Very, very good.
The show is open! And it is really a great show. And the first weekend of performances came off swimmingly. Other than a few minor wardrobe malfunctions and a couple of twisted ankles, our show has left the metaphorical train station and is cruising towards Christmas at full speed. Have you seen the YouTube video of our Challenge Dance? It's friggin fierce. I watched it backstage yesterday, before our first show and got chills.
And let me tell you, when each performance begins, it doesn't pause until its over. I am lucky in that my first entrance isn't until 20 minutes into the first act. But once I hit the stage, I don't leave it. When I'm not in a scene or a dance, I'm backstage changing costumes. And there are a lot of very fast costume changes. If you see any of us actors exiting the stage in a surprisingly hurried fashion, its probably because we're running towards one of the dressers, stripping off shirts, pants, and boots in the process.
This is a much bigger technical show than I would have anticipated. I think when you read the script, it's easy to think, "Well, it's just a bunch of scenes in a forest. That should be easy." But it's not. During tech, it took hours just to coordinate the timing of those tree sliders crossing back and forth across the stage. And the snow that falls downstage, midstage, and upstage, all in different amounts at different times seems like a feat unto itself. I've got to hand it to our stage managers, Bret, Michael, and Amy, as well as Laurel, Diana, and all the fierce and funny crew backstage. Because they are working just as hard as we are, but for more hours each day.
The schedule of the last week has been exhausting: afternoon rehearsals and evening performances, leading into five shows in three days. And I've been dealing with a sore throat to boot. So before each show, I've been sitting in front of a humidifier, or gargling concoctions of cayenne pepper and ginger root and lemon juice (yuck), or sneaking Ricolas into my cheeks every chance I get. But my lack of health hasn't seemed to affect the show yet. Phew.
I'm surprised at the number of people I know that are REALLY EXCITED to see the show. My Facebook wall is filled with notes from people excited to see the show, or excited to have seen the show, or that are just excited that I'm in the show. And I'm excited too, although that excitement has mostly manifested itself in fear. Even after we opened, I was still spending my rare offstage moments worried that I going to forget something.
It wasn't until last night's performance that my nerves left. I was finally able to feel confident that I AM going to remember all of the dance moves and the costume changes, and have incorporated all of the notes from previews. I was able to go out there and have fun. Which was AWESOME.
So I'm grateful to be a part of this big aforementioned metaphorical train we call "747." But today, what I'm REALLY grateful for is a day off.
- Mo Brady (Gideon)