We just finished the second weekend in our Portland run of Inviting Desire. There have been a few experiences during this production that stand out from productions I have been involved in in the past, but I must make a disclaimer, all productions are different from one another, this is the beauty of a play, still there are some things that tend to remain expected.
- Once a show is up the rehearsals are over-
Normally, this is the case, but since this play is considered a working play or a work in progress even after the show opened we continued to get notes and rehearse. I will admit that at first this was difficult for me. I would get a note like, “I needed to create a new character for a particular line,” and my thought would be: “what, I couldn’t have gotten that note before the show opened?” It’s a work in progress, this is how things go, and honestly it’s uncomfortable. I think I desperately want some stability in my life, since I don’t have it anywhere, and now even the play I am is in constant flux. Life and art are blended without imitation. My defense mechanism is to immediately get defensive, but this benefits no one especially myself, so I went home and worked on some new characters, and then tried them out for the first time on a live audience. This was nerve wracking. I suppose it’s a bit like improve, but I’ve never been one for improve so I was far from comfortable. I had no idea how things would work, and it’s one thing flopping in front of your cast members because they are there to say: “yes that works, no that doesn’t” but, in front of an audience, whoa, not easy. I felt very off that night, but people still seemed to enjoy the show, and they had no idea what was going on inside my brain. My notes were, “pull back here, make it bigger there”, which means: thankfully I made good choices.
- You always get time to warm up
Oh no you don’t. We got a taste of this on Saturday. There was another production going on in the same space before our show opened. We didn’t get into the space until ten minutes to house, and that only allowed us time to set props, and to set the stage. There was no vocal warm up or physical warm up, and I think it affected the performance which felt like it dragged a bit. Again, the audience still enjoyed it, and didn’t know the cast felt slow. One amazing part of performance is you never know what the audience is feeling or thinking. This was a good experience because during the fringe we may never have the chance to warm up, and only have five to ten minutes to set our stage and props. We need to learn to be fast and to muster energy from where ever we find it.
- Once we take a bow we go home-
The show is not over when the play ends. At the end of the performance we have an open mic, and this has been so interesting. I will elaborate more in a later post but for now I want to mention how strange it is to have a high energy performance and then watch people from the audience come up to perform, ranging in skills from novice to professional. I like it because it takes my mind from focusing on the areas where I may have messed up, and instead I am just enjoying the audience as they give back to the actors.
I titled this post middle of the road because that is where we are on the Portland run, we have one more weekend and then it is time to pack and then head off to Canada. Travel and theatre just like troubadours or trobairitz (since we are women) except in an RV.
In the writing world, which I think is my main love, I have recently completed a short story and I am beginning to write another one. I haven’t touched Zizkov in a week or maybe two, which is disappointing since I was supposed to have it all finished by the 20th so I could print it out, and start getting nit picky on it, but I still have a few more weeks before I leave.
I’ve been packing my life into boxes, since I am in constant transition, and will be moving into a new place, and then packing to get on the road. I have no idea what will await me on the road or what to expect when I get back. I guess the key is to expect nothing and the possibility of everything.
I’ll leave you with an e-mail Eleanor received from someone that watched the show recently.
Thank you for a wonderful performance last night. As an armchair director, I generally can’t attend any community theater without walking away with tons of “notes”. Not so last night. “Inviting Desire” engaged me entirely from moment one to the end. The writing is world class. Your performance was genuine and moving.
It was perfect.
I will say your name and talk about this amazing show to anyone who will stand still long enough to hear.
Please pass on my deepest gratitude, highest compliments and fondest wishes to your cast mates.
You can read the rest of the post here and of course feel free to read more about the show.