Letters to Holly

Tuesday, December 9

Countdown: Four Nights

We get our first audience Thursday night -- invited folks who otherwise wouldn't pay to attend. Monday's rehearsal means we have three more nights to clean up our act.

A number of us are sick with various degrees of crud. I'm doing much better. Brick and Doc are bad off. Mrs. Cracthit and Past Christmas are sniffling. 'Tis the season.

I put on the Cratchit jacket, gloves, and scarf because I want to mark the time needed to take those off and put on my ghost costume. I find I have plenty of time even when I figure in the time for the mesh mask I have to buy Tuesday. Because I'm feeling better, I take my place in the onstage witness gallery for the entirety of Act One. I speak for about eight pages and spend 40 just sitting behind the defense attorney.

It's nerve-wracking to watch actors struggle with lines, and I remind myself that, just a year ago, I was in their shoes. I was roaming a stage for the entire play, desperate to recall the dialogue, while the majority of the cast sat and watched and waited for their short bits of stage time. I can tell you honestly that I prefer being in this position now. This is the comfort of a bit part. Also, I make myself relax. I'm have sympathy pains for them but this isn't my cross to bear. Not this time.

If we don't tighten up the lines in three nights, we will open our brand-new digs with a parade of incompetence. We have major, major problems, and the best thing we can do is run scenes multiple times to hammer them into shape. Scrooge assures us he'll be ready, and I hope he is. I don't want any of the actors to fall on their face. And I want the theatre to have a grand opening to their new season. And I don't want to be so worried about them that I make a stupid mistake.

It's entirely possible that the Future Ghost will steal the show. Not me. The ghost. I just have to do the role justice. But I discovered last night that it's impossible to overdo the part.

As I write this, I have shaved myself an anti-goatee. I have muttonchops, and there's a very good reason they went out of style.

Picture of the Day
A fashion photo reminiscent of the horserace scene in My Fair Lady.

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