I forget sometimes to follow up with a story or post. I forget that you might care what happened to the thing that happened with the Tigger the Dog or the Husband or the Mom. Or the play. I got a lot of questions about the play this week. About how it was going. About whether we actually memorized all those lines. About how I feel to be doing something my Grandmother did almost twenty years ago. So a brief emotional recap -
The play goes... well, let me use the Mom’s opening night comment here. After the show, I came out into the lobby, she pulled me close for a side hug – see, my not hugging is hereditary – and she said, “It’s better than you thought it was.” And that statement, that matter of fact response is why I love her.
We have chatted more about the play over the last few days. She’s said more about moments that happened on stage but that statement is really the most truthful, the most succinct one that I’ve heard. And it was more useful to me than Husband’s terse, “It was good.” I can’t do a thing with that comment. I can’t obsess over that one late at night. Does he not know me at all? Um... yeah he does.
Now, the lines… there is a moment in an audience talk back where, without fail, someone will ask us how we learned all those lines. I usually don’t have a great answer. I usually let one of the other cast members answer. But, then again, I usually haven’t been in this play. This time, when asked, my comeback will be. “We haven’t.” And then I’ll laugh and laugh.
It’s not true, you see. We have memorized all the lines. We just don’t always get them in the order they’re supposed to come out in. Or, like my performance last Saturday night, they come out all mushy and in bursts of a strange form of Tourette’s. Or we get so overcome by emotion and we just point and yell nonsenses at each other. (But that might have just been me last night.) It does make for a very exciting show. It does mean that we are awake and alert on stage the whole time. It does mean that our teamwork is tight and we are doing what we can to get each other though the literal darkness and into the light. And that’s a good thing, right?
I am enjoying doing a play my Grandmother did years ago. Though, ‘enjoying’ isn’t really the right word. It has been an emotional rollercoaster. I have loved, absolutely LOVED knowing that I’m in the same boat, same emotional space she once was. I am sad that we couldn’t have done this one together. I’m thrilled to have had moments when I felt she was with me, cheering me on, pulling me through the rough patches. It’s been a bonding experience with the Mom that I didn’t expect to have that I treasure. So, how am I enjoying doing a play my Grandmother done? I am completely and utterly relishing it – when I’m not freaking out and forgetting where we are in the script, that is.
Every production has its good and its bad; you like this person, don’t care for that one. You hate your costume but you love your wig. You love the cast but hate the play or you character or the staging or something. There is always something that’s great and something that drives you absolutely nuts. Someone once said to me, when I was complaining about how much a show was driving me mental, “In three weeks, it’ll be over.”
That is the best thing and the worst thing about theatre, at some point it will be over. At some point, you put on the costume for the final time, yell those lines one last time, avoid stepping in the blood on the stage as you take that final bow one last time. It is totally bitter sweet but it is what makes theatre so visceral, so personal, that it is temporary.
“How is the play going?” It is going well, and in five days it will be over. And that will be a bad thing and a good thing and a sad thing.
This one will stick with me for a long while.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me