Stepping out on stage that opening weekend was exhilarating, terrifying and humbling all at once. My bundle of nerves tummy revealed itself in the form of bobbled lines, and being slow to pick up my cues. The perfectionist inside me found this unacceptable - and proceeded to put enormous amounts of pressure on me to be perfect. Once I stood in the wings and said to myself "You know it. Just do it." all of my lines came out just fine. I mostly did not want to be the actor that my fellow cast mates would not be comfortable being on stage with. I don't consider myself to be an unreliable actor.
This play was so unique and clever, that listening to where the audience found laughs and when they were moved, was half of the thrill. And discussing the script afterwards with friends, hearing what they liked or didn't, if they thought the lead girl was imagining it, or if it was real was delicious to partake in. I loved the high of performing, being so wired I could take on 30 day shred at 11 pm at night! Another thrill was that I had someone in the audience at nearly every single show. People who have known me for years and wanted to cheer me on, and new friends who were just as supportive. Many of my coworkers came and it was really fun to have them see me in my "real life". I'm not just the girl who can help you with your presentation, you know? And the post-mortem of the production, this little theater is so professional, they actually cared to hear how each of the artists' experience through the production was.
Overall, this was the best experience I could have ever hoped for. I finished the show with a sense of pride. Every single person in the cast I would work with again in a heartbeat. There was such a love fest when the show ended. Usually there is one asshole or person you don't care for at all - but not here! For someone not sure if she could ever be on stage again, this was a fantastic time. It stretched me as an actor, I think - it made me do stuff that was scary (singing! vulnerable character exercises!) and allowed me to play and have fun. The director said that I am going on her permanent list of actors to call upon, the Artistic Director wants me to join the company, and he asked me to audition for him in May. These are the highest compliments - I am so flattered to be received positively by them, when I was just trying to test myself.
I am so grateful that I was able to jump in when I did. 5 different worlds, 7 different costume changes, 2 songs, 5 characters, not enough rehearsal time and only one run before opening. I don't think I could have chosen a more challenging bus to jump on, but the ride was more than worthwhile.
The only negative? The time. As in no time to exercise. And I need it - as evidenced by my weigh in this week. I definitely want to reconsider the time commitment if I am going to audition again - it will have to be for something really wonderful, although Blind Spot is going to be hard to beat. But we only live once - may as well make it fun, yes?