Letters to Holly

Saturday, March 22

Day 26: Second Show

But, first, here's the official "review" of the show. It's written by a theatre worker so it has to be taken with a grain of salt. A grain as large as your head. But I agree that the director has spun gold from potential poo. I, of course, read my paragraph with too critical an eye; I think he's saying I'm one-note and stiff.

It's a looser atmosphere tonight; we're all relaxed and casual about taking the stage. It is a smaller, younger audience. The make-up lady told me last night that my arms are so white they glow in the dark. She's talks the director into "bronzing" my arms with brush-on make-up. This has never come up before. And I spend more time outside now than I did during previous shows. I get an extra five minutes in the make-up chair for this. My face is cranky over the powder and creams I wear every night. She's putting on a lot more of it now than she did for the previous show. Even using Noxema after, my skin hurts. I wasn't made to be dolled up.

There is also one other thing I know, and it's this: When the play starts, it helps if the curtain is open. As the first sound effect cranks up, we wait til it finishes, take a beat and start our lines offstage. Then we walk on and gab for 70 pages. I'm standing right behind the front door of this house set. There's a peephole bored through the door, and I can watch the audience there. As I look out, all I see is curtain. We're supposed to talk now. I hold back the other actor, and finally the curtain drifts open. I wait to see if we're getting the sound effect again, but I can clearly see the director sitting at the tech table gesturing as to say "what's the hold up," and I throw out my line to get going. And we're off.

It goes OK. The audience is quieter but responsive, and now we know which lines will get the laughs if we sell them right. I drop a line in Act Two, and the mistress fixes it without any problem. It's her smoothest action of the production so far. I'm proud of her. The show ends without another noticeable hitch. I don't think anyone besides the two actors realized the gun misfired during the climax. We didn't have to resort to the improvised fireplace-poker fight. The gun went off on a third trigger pull. We greet the crowd following the show and are complimented by all. One lady said she'd tell everyone to see the show, and I appreciate that.

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