Monday, September 12, 2011

My Own Worst Enemy

Last night's rehearsal was poop.  Let me rephrase that: Rehearsal, as a whole, went really well.  The show is right where it should be with 5 days out.  I, on the other hand, was poop.  And not so much due to bad performing.  Let me e'splain.

For starters I had the call time wrong and was 30 minutes late.  There is nothing I hate more than being late.  It completely sets me off wrong.  It gives the impression of either not caring or being unorganized, which I am neither.  Turns out it was not such a big deal because we were doing the costume parade.  This is where you try on your costume(s) for the director to preview.  This allows them to see if you are wearing something period and character appropriate.  Does anything need to be altered?  This sort of thing.

I have all of two costumes.  One is a formal and the other is an everyday sort of "worker" dress.  My every day dress was not there since it needed to be hemmed a foot.  I kid you not.  This left me with only the formal to show.  (This is why being late turned out fine.) 

My formal is a lovely, bronze sort of gown.  It's shorter in the front then in the back and has lots of pretty material that drapes elegantly from off my shoulders.  Sort of a Grecian effect.  At least on top there is flowiness, the bottom half clings to my hips and toosh.  It also has a tragically low, plunging neckline.  Yes, the front door is pretty much wide open bringing a whole new meaning to "who let the dogs out?" 

I step out onto the stage in my gown.

"Could you step more into the light please?"

I take a few steps forward until the spotlight warms me.  It quickly starts to burn me up.  This situation is my nightmare come true.  There are 4-5 people in the audience whose eyes are on me as directly as the spotlight.  I feel like they are looking me over as critically as I do myself. 

"Turn around please."

Dear God.  Here we go.

I think I threw up in my mouth a little while I presented my dimpled, un-toned, had two babies ass to The Eye.

"That works.  Thanks."

I returned to the dressing room and practically dove back into my yoga pants and shirt.  It took everything in me to not sit in a corner, rocking and envisioning my Happy Place.  This would have been a perfect time to do the scene where Eva dies.  I could certainly have mustered real tears.  But why?  Nothing went wrong.  The dress looks good.  Oh but that awful feeling of being judged!  Ug!

If I can't do that how could I possibly perform on a stage, you ask?  Whole other game!  The song and dance distracts from the mess.  People are paying more attention to the performance you give then to you.  It's also like how I can perform in front of a large group but to sing for one or two people is very scary for me.  I guess I feel more exposed. 

I laughed at myself for being horrified by showing my clothed backside when one of our cast members was just in The Full Monty.  That's courage my friend.  Obviously that is a show I would never attempt.  Ha!

After the parade we proceeded with a run through of the complete show.  This went pretty darn well.  I was having so much fun!  No kids!  No dishes!  No laundry!  Apparently I was having too much fun and was scolded for talking too much in the wings.  Obviously in a real performance I would not be carrying on and cutting up but "they" don't know that.

My Grandmother has always said that you should dress for the position you want.  So if you want to be a manager you dress and behave like a manager even though you are only the receptionist.  In the work place I have always heeded this advice but I certainly have not done so with this show.  I don't think of it as my work place.  My work place is at home.  I am the manager there.  The house, the kids, the husband, PTA (or O.  Whatever it's called here) are my job and I am all over it.  Organized, mature, serious.  (Serious-ish.)  The show is my playground!  It's where I get to play make believe and dress up.  I dance around and sing and there is nothing heavily weighing on me.  I mean, I'm working hard and I want to perform my best  (sometimes I really beat myself up about that part) but for the most part this is my escape and my fun-time.  The problem is I will likely never get a more meaty role if I don't show that I can be serious and organized and professional.  Not that anyone there is a professional actor but a show full of receptionists acting like management would be as top knotch as a show full of professionals.  Clear as mud?

I've said it before that I felt like this show was a big audition for me but I blew it.  I've spent more time and energy trying to make new friends instead of showing the director(s) what a hard working showman I can be.  What a waist of Christina's time!  She made sure I gave a professional audition and then I just went and "played." 

Part of it is inexperience.  Touring for 3 years in one show over 20 years ago is not experience.  The latest thing I've done is the role of Seamstress.  I had two lines and was such a sad dancer they staged the two tallest dancers to hide me in the one small dance part I had.  At least I could sing.

I told Christina that I've pretty much blown it and that I shouldn't audition again with this group. 
"There does not seem to be interest.  I doubt they like working with me."

"You should audition anyway," she said.  "It's good practice and experience."

Both of which I am short on.  Wish I could let THAT hem out about a foot.

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Michal;

    You haven't blown anything, so stop beating yourself up. The fact that you're concerned about these things proves to me that you're behaving professionally--you're concerned about your performance, about your stage presence, and about your relationships with the people you've asked to spend two to three months in a confined space with.

    Theatre at any level is about the show. But the local community theatre level is also a social exercise. There are "professionals" out there who don't get that. As a result, no one will deliberately choose to spend 8 to 12 weeks or more in their company, and their casting opportunities dry up.

    Was it everything you could have done? Perhaps it wasn't. Only you know that for certain. But also acknowledge that no one works at 100 per cent all the time--it isn't possible. The bottom line is, you worked extremely hard on this--don't take that away from yourself.

    I don't have kids but understand how tricky a balancing act it can be to do theatre and live the rest of your life. However, if you have the opportunity and want to continue performing, you should. GIven a chance to work with you again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.