Letters to Holly

Tuesday, January 16

Day Twenty-Two: We're Ready When You Are

Holy shit, I'm tired. That tech rehearsal plum wore me out.

Monday, before I work a half day, I run out to buy the theatre goods. Good Lord, buying make-up has gotten tricky. wanna buy a brown eyeliner pencil. Forget it. They have Onyx, Sage, Olive, Espresso, and a variety of other colors but no Brown. I settle for Espresso and buy Buff Beige base. It's not too much darker than my skin tone, and I hope the backstage crew OKs my color choice. It takes a while to find a color that's not too red or white. The theatre will allegedly provide rouge and powder.

I arrive a little earlier than normal. The director is concerned about getting kids out of there before their bedtimes. The theater's shoes are killing my feet, and I try to sit as much as I can. Everyone is dragging after Sunday. We're warned not to bump into the set columns as they might topple. I also am reminded which way to run behind the gallery windows with the kids. The two daughters and I ran in different directions, and the oldest girl won't let me live down that she was right. I bring a belt and tie tack to complete my costume and make a note on the costume sheet of which items belong to me. We're two nights way from a friends and family audience. This is the last dress rehearsal before an official crowd made up of sponsor company employees. We're also to begin communal warm-up exercises Tuesday night. Mae will lead those. The green room is a madhouse with kids and adults and costumers. This is usually more distracting than any audience, you should know. Kids are playing board games, dancing, imitating the adult actors, etc.

I've before expressed my concern about the reverend and doctor getting their lines down, and they seem to be getting better. Still a little halting in delivery. But tonight, the reverend missed his cue to walk onstage. Act II begins with him and Gooper talking on the balcony. When the stage-right manager called "places," I told her the preacher wasn't there. I don't think that registered. The curtain opened, I walked out, and there was not a reverend to be found. I said my line to the empty seats, and the cast on the other side of the balcony wall stood silent, waiting for the reverend discussion. About 15 seconds later, I hear the hurried footsteps. He takes his place, I give him a comforting smile and repeat my line. And we were off.

The stage-right manager said later that when she watches Gooper, she doesn't see me, and I appreciate that. I'm feeling really good about my part and my acting right now. I'm past anxiety and am enjoying the work. This is when the "play" of the play procedure kicks in. Everything before was work. But now, we're dressing up, we're spitting out Williams' profanity, we're talking like Foghorn Leghorn. This is the goods. I even improved a dramatic door closure that the director liked. But, fuck, those shoes hurt.

I'm taking a book to rehearsal tomorrow night to kill the boredom and block out encouraging eye contact with the kids. I have plenty of time to get into character while backstage in Act II. I'm jazzed about this. I'm ready for an audience.

Previous entries:
Day One: Reading It Through
Day Two: Act Two
Day Three: Reading Act Two
Day Four: Talking It Through
Day Five: Blocking Act Two
Day Six: Act Two Redux
Day Seven: Reading Act Three
Day Eight: The Da Gooper Code
Day Nine: The Laying On of Hands
Day Ten: Pictures and Pages
Day Eleven: Onstage
Day Twelve: Memory
Day Thirteen: The Quickie
Day Fourteen: The Lines
Day Fifteen: Act III Anxiety
Day Sixteen: Let's Just Get It Right
Day Seventeen: Molding the Gooper
Day Eighteen: Goopercalypse
Day Nineteen: There Is Not A Doctor In The House
Day Twenty: Back to Words
Day Twenty-One: Getting Technical

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