Friday, July 13, 2012

Releasing the Beast

We’re OPEN!!!  And flying.  Heart-stopping.  OMIGOD!  About a thousand things to do before the audience started arriving for Wednesday’s performance.  There’s a very audible pulse backstage on any opening day.  Actors warming up, joking with one another both in character and out, shaking out all the tension, and giggling nervously to each other over missed cues at the final dress the day before. 

The adrenaline is palpable.  I’ve often thought if you could harness that throbbing, pulsating atmosphere, you could……..I dunno…….run a theatre on the Moon.  Which is where my mind goes when I hear about NASA goals.

Backstage on Wednesday at the Annenberg was no different.  Where are my cufflinks?  Anyone seen my Diva hat?  Are the foils set?  Someone check the chairs
on the set.  You stepped on the last part of my line yesterday…….give it a breath, will ‘ya?  Can you help me with that change before the Ghost’s entrance? 

Actors on crack; and not a drug in sight.  There’s something so intoxicating about showing an audience your work for the first time.  ‘Cuz, God, ya wanna be liked.  But even more than that, you want to be true to what the playwright intended……and HOPE they like it.

Salty Shakespeare is particularly challenging because we’re right there in and among the audience------cheek to jowl, as we say.  So an actor can pretty much SEE what the audience thinks of us.  We don’t have to wait for reviews.  And the audiences both on Wednesday and Thursday seemed to love us.  A standing ovation on Wednesday (not on Thursday-----hmmmmmm.  Have to look into that)

And so on we go.  Rain predicted today.  Friday.  What will that bring?  More surprises.  We HATE planning.

Photography by Margaret Molloy

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