Up stage, the doors open. Dramatic entrance music plays and my friend and cast mate, Becky Donnella, stoically marches out as Eva Peron. We are all facing her, backs to the audience, moving like flowers to the sun as she moves down stage. One by one she takes the hands of the ladies she passes as would a Pope offering a blessing. She comes to me and takes both of my hands in hers. We give each other a squeeze and in my squeeze is every hope, every wish to "break legs" and every bit of good energy I can send to her and the whole cast. It's my secret prayer for the performance and though we've already performed 2 songs, it's in that moment that the show would begin for me each night.
Every performance was better then the next. As things improved and we became more comfortable on stage, the back stage antics amped up. We all had so much fun making puppets, kidnapping flip flops, and making faces and dances up to try and make those on stage laugh. There were so many comedies going on on the side, I could not possibly share them all here. Friendships and partnerships were forged to be sure!
Also every night I would style the girls' hair. I knew how to make mine work and tried to help a few with theirs. It turned into a permanent "position" and I loved it! It also became a sort of measurement or prediction for how that night's performance was going to go. I told them it was like my crystal ball but instead was of hair.
"What does the hairball say tonight, Michal? How is it going to go?"
"We are going to start out a little rough but end with a bang!"
Or sometimes vice-versa.
As a thank you for all the heads of hair I did this past month, the cast presented me with a bottle of wine (yes ma'am!) and a golden head. Sadly, the gold head was made of Styrofoam and so when spray painted it got a little eaten up. The result was something that looks more like a golden burn victim... I'm moved none-the-less and she will hold court on a special spot on my dresser.
Our last show was splendid! Everyone's energy was great, the audience was playful and our leads gave it their all. I started to tear up in the second scene but held it at bay the rest of the show.
After our bows I felt good and ready to say good bye to Evita but it was still hard. I don't want to liken it to a death but maybe more like sending a child off to school or like putting a friend on a plane.
That was next for me to do.
For the last show my friends Amy and Christina came all the way from MO! Since the show was over the cast was to stay and strike the set, clean dressing rooms and the like. I had also been invited to Caren's for raclette, her family's traditional First Snow meal. (It snowed Saturday!) My heart was a wreck. Part of it wanted to be with the cast to physically and symbolically put away the show. Another part was desperate for more time with my MO girlfriends and wanted to spend this last bit of time with them, even if that time was spent in taking them to the airport. The last bit of me so wanted to be in my Caren's kitchen with our families, wine and food.
That "Spread Thin" feeling has been with me a lot this month as I tried to be involved at the school, with my family, my friends and the show all at the same time. I did not want any of these components to effect the performance of the other. Here in lies the reason that I have to step down from the stage for awhile. My family and friends need the break and, if I'm really honest with myself, I guess I do too. It kills me. I want to be in all of these places and do all of these things and it's just not possible. I feel like this is how my whole life is right now as I'm still struggling with having half of my heart in Texas and the other half here in CO.
I fought tears all the way to the airport. I dropped my girls off with hugs and kisses.
"Don't cry," Amy warned.
I got into the car and burst into tears. I bawled like a banshee the whole way home. There goes my friends! There goes my show!
When I got to Caren's I fell into her door and dove for the table. It was beautifully set and wine was already poured. I fought tears again as relief flooded over me. I had not seen Aaron or Caren all week. It was so good to be back in the role of Wife, Mother and Friend.
I had another good cry in bed. With out saying a word, Aaron just held me while I got it all out.
This morning the boys and I did our Off-To-School dance. Gabriel had band so I drove them. After getting Gabe settled, Drew and I went to the library to kill time before class started. A teacher found us there.
"Oh Michal! I saw the show Friday night and I just have to tell you that you looked GORGEOUS! I really enjoyed it. The leads were so good. I just loved it and your hair and make up were perfect. Those gowns you wore were beautiful!"
Oh. My. Lands.