We all knew it was coming. I knew it would be here soon and I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it. Well, that's not really true... I knew. I knew I would be grateful for the time off, but I would miss the work, the people, the feeling of belonging to something larger than myself.
And then, it happened. The last show day arrived.
After a long week and a double, (matinee and evening show), the day before, Sunday came. With it, the realization that this was the last time I would be in this costume, this show, with these people.
I'm really going to miss it.
From the first notes of the opening number, I knew that it was all over. It was unique and it would soon be gone. This cast came together and made it happen. Now, I know that every cast is like this at some point, or at least, each cast has its moments, but this one was truly lightning in a bottle.
A few veterans, a few first timers, a few "I've done a few shows" types, and lots of folks who have big talent were all thrown together to create something that would be a good start to the season for this theater. At least, that was the plan. What we got was two weeks of sold out, standing-room-only shows, standing ovations and huge laughs in all the right places. Smiles, hugs, and lots and lots of really happy theater patrons
The 2015-16 season for this theater is off to a great start.
I learned an awful lot on this show. Among the coolest things I learned was the fact that good actors make it look easy. They make you think, "Well, sure... I can do that." But, somehow, you just don't. Because good acting is hard, and it takes more than just balls and desire. it takes practice and experience. It takes time, and people willing to see that with time and practice you can do it, too.
It takes tech people who do their jobs so you can do yours. It takes set designers, builders and painters that care about the details. It takes lighting folks and sound folks and stagehands and costumers and choreographers and directors that give a shit and want to create something magical.
It takes all of your functioning brainpower in the beginning, so that by show time you can do these lines in your sleep. But, you don't, because it also take high energy and a willingness to go out and give it your all. Your A game, every time.
Theater is different than any other brand of acting. On film, you can craft your character, build nuances and be subtle as you create a persona. Need a retake? Sure, as long as your director has time. The more influential you are, the more chance you have to get it just right. In musical theater, it's the opposite. The better you are, the more you are expected to hit your marks every time. Nail your lines every time. Be nuanced and subtle, broad and boisterous and everything in between as the character demands, every time. You had better be ready when your cue comes. Be ready to step out into the light and deliver. Every time.
It's tough. It's sweaty, hard and demanding work. But, no one demands more from you than you do from yourself. That's what makes it great. That's what makes it magical. That's what makes it worth it for someone to leave the house and come to a theater to see a live show.
I'll still write. I'll still create art and direct short films and do voice-overs. But, acting...
Yeah, I want to be in another show.
Any show. Every time.