Wednesday, August 15, 2007

until the lights come up

until the lights come up

hello! i am home, just, from rehearsal and find i am giddy from the endorphin release that comes with a particularly good rehearsal and with the knowledge that the house is entirely my own for two entire days and nights - with no one else's laundry or dishes to do ... thus, having logged on in the dark, (to see if you're there somewhere, too) i find myself at the computer with a slow-motion smile. the feeling is intoxicating!

where was i? oh, rehearsal.

this little show i'm in plays much better than it reads - and it would seem i haven't quite forgotten the subtle way i have of making people laugh in all the right places and then turning them inside out ... laughter through tears may be my favorite emotion. my scene partner is absent in these last days of rehearsal - a meeting out of town is the reason - so, our director has graciously stood in. it's odd - changing the rhythm of the thing. it will surely play differently when j is back, but in the meantime, it's fun to play.

i forget, when i've been away for too long, that in order to accomplish what i want, i need time and space to play with it ... the balance is a delicate one. when i get it right ... what, for me, feels right ... there is nothing quite like it. when the show is up, it's electric and immediate - there is no time to think about it and correct it. i'm forced to learn from my mistakes (and others') in the moment and hope we get another chance to redeem ourselves in the midst. the process promotes honesty more than any other form of relationship i know.

i forget, too, the effect my abilities have on other people.

this is a festival - 10 plays, 40+ actors, some of whom i've known for years and worked with ... some i only know by association ... most are strangers who either pay me no mind or look at me in annoyance when i am overtaken by an 'old friend.' (in the theatre, everyone you've ever been on stage with considers her/himself an 'old friend.' it's the thing i have the hardest time with - people claiming connections that seem so false to me.) and in the midst of the chaos, i am quiet backstage. i do not join in the recitation of the resumes - names of plays and directors and characters are lobbed over my head as i apply my makeup. bragging about awards or roles holds no interest for me. i keep to myself. i do not sit in the house and watch the other shows. i am not interested in comparing my work or the opportunities i've been given. instead, i talk quietly with true friends, re-apply lipstick, listen to music in what i like to call my 'pre-game' mode. i'm easy to discount.

until the lights come up.

it's then they swarm, as bees in honey drown, tripping over themselves to be the first to call me 'cute' ... 'funny' ... 'oh so talented.' it always surprises me ... embarrasses me, too. save for a brief moment of enjoyment, i never know the proper response ... so i smile shyly, duck my head down, say 'thank you' repeatedly and run for cover. i'd make a terrible celebrity. though i would enjoy the free shoes.

wow! the storm that's been threatening all day finally broke - with brilliant light and sound and that sideways rain i love so much. it's a sign that i should turn off the computer, i think, and listen to the rain as i fall asleep in the bed i have all to myself!

sleep well, if sleep is what's required.


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