Monday, February 25, 2008

Highest of Highs. Lowest of Lows.

Saturday was by far the best performance of the show we did. We had a slightly overfull house because of the cancellation on Friday night and they were up, responsive and participatory. Everyone was wonderful and when I got up to do my testimony at the end of Act II it felt smooth, commanding, at ease. Act III had me engaged, choked up. I loved the play, every second of it. I loved the cast. I loved doing it. Not Guilty.

Sunday crashed and burned for me. It was the closing so I wanted to go out on a high note. It was going nicely, good pace. Not as spectacular as the night before but definitely a good solid show. Then in the middle of my Act II testimony M went blank. And not just blank but stunningly blank. Deer in the headlights blank. At first he just looked at me and then, then I saw panic set in. He ran to the defense table where there is a huge pile of copied pages of the script and began to frantically search for his place. I knew he was never going to find it. And there is nothing I can do. I can’t just start speaking. That won’t make any sense. Although, maybe I should to rescue the show. How can I reword this line to put us on track? He asks a question. Not the correct one but I can work with we go on…for three lines. But clearly he has lost the scene completely. He asks a question and it is so different that I am completely thrown I don’t have any idea what to do or where I am. At sea. So I just jump to the end of the scene in a desperate attempt to bring the character of Larry on so we can just move forward. When he comes on I am so riled so shaky that the break down has a more tension and charge than it ever has had before. So I got something out of it. A feeling of panic, fear, tension that I can remember and hopefully recreate when I need it. But I never fully recovered for Act III. Although it was alright, I should be affected, scared, sad, stressed so I used it to my full advantage. I let my fear and disappointment show. I let tears come close enough to fight them. And then it was over. I was guilty last night. But I found out later that our bailiff just decided I was. The vote was 8-4 in my favor, one of the lowest. It was usually 11-1, sometimes 10-2. I don’t blame him at all. We needed more than one loss.

Last night I felt hollow. I hate the end of a run. The sudden deflation. I thought this one would be easier having a script in hand but its not. I cried all through the Oscars. I cried this morning in the shower. I could cry any minute at work today. I always forget how hard it is for me to decompress. And this was by far one of the best experiences of my career so far. I loved every minute of this show. The cast was massive and they were wonderful despite any complaints I may have had along the way. A true ensemble piece.

Things I’ll miss:

Glaring at the jury.

K’s gum.

"Yeah that's the one! I see you got a hold of that too." Heck B's whole performance.

M.

“Then how can you speak of him such as you did? Don’t you know why he married you?”

Magda Svenson.

B as Junquist. One of the best actors I’ve ever worked with.

Testifying in Act III.

Sparring with the DA.

Not Guilty.

2 comments:

Ty Unglebower said...

The familiar post show drop. I know it well. Mine was going to be cushioned for the Lion in Winter, because the same company was going to do a show I wanted to try out for. But at the last minute, (literally as the director was welcoming our opening night audience to the show) they changed their mind, and will now be doing a show I have no interest in. So I will be looking elsewhere for a production for the spring, I suppose.

I am sorry that blank moment occurred..sounds like a pretty bad one.

And the bailiff can overturn the verdict in that show? Hardly seems fair.

Muzak Box said...

Yeah, I thought it was kind of shitty for the jury to choose one thing and then him to just change it to please himself and some of the other cast members. Why did we make them sit on stage for 2 1/2 hours then?