I was fairly stressed yesterday about the show. Lend Me A Tenor, the first play of the year, went up yesterday evening, and for once, I seriously felt worried about my personal performance. I was also concerned a bit about sound—we had dropped Hammerhands earlier that morning due to urgent, unforeseeable family matters for him, and trained Boy for most of the day.
I was freakin’ out.
I didn’t feel solid. My character was not set in stone, and things were still uncertain and unclear. I was going to be going to play with the character I had, not the character I wanted, and that really worried me.
But I figured that I would find a way to work things out. I talked to Kelley, the director, who helped me understand what my performances in rehearsal had been missing. With that understanding, I changed into costume, so that I could begin feeling comfortable as my character, who had just undergone a moderate revamp. I walked around stage as he would. I looked out into the audience, blurring details out so as to keep the fourth wall intact. I did everything I could to be comfortable and ready, and to sharpen my focus.
Then we started.
It can never be said that the department does not have dedicated, amazingly talented individuals in it. Boy pulled off the sound with impeccable skill, even though the job had been thrust upon him less than twelve hours earlier. There were a couple of mistakes, but nothing terrible. Boy did far better than any of us had expected, and I, for one, was absolutely awed and surprised. My hat goes off to that kid. He showed his true colours.
When I got on stage, things felt… right. The audience was laughing themselves to pieces, so the energy was naturally high. In addition. I had honed my focus and character to a spot so tight that everything seemed to work. Most of the problems I had been called on in rehearsal were all of a sudden brushed away. I was thrilled.
The show finished. We ran both curtain calls.
And then we were done, all with humongous grins of triumph and exhilaration on our faces.
Second show is tonight.