Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back Stage Review

All day I had been running the song lyrics through my head.

In between getting the kids ready for school and then I put in my head phones while I was on the elliptical.

My back was in pain, but not in as much pain as it had been 4 days earlier.

That was excruciating. I am surprised I was stubborn enough not to rush to the emergency room.

Maybe it was because Monday was the first day we got to be in full costume. I had been so excited to see what my costume and makeup were going to look like. I didn't want to miss out so I waited in agony while Marc took off work early and brought home a stronger prescription pain medicine. I was already taking 3 different ones, so why not add a fourth...

Anyway, at this point I am just happy that the pain is... well... more... ummm... well, I could move without crying out in pain and agony.

We had been having tech rehearsal all week. Tech rehearsal means that we were getting the mics, lights, and "special effects" set to perfection along with all our integral parts.

I was standing in front of the 15 foot wide mirror along with several others putting on make-up. I had done it for 4 days now, so I pretty much had it memorized and didn't have to look at the reference photo as much any more. I kept smiling as I would look around the room seeing the hustle and bustle of everyone getting their costumes, wigs and make-up together.

There was a general buzz of excitement and nerves in the air.

One of our fellow actors had brought an assortment of music that was just getting us all even more pumped up. I was actually surprised when I first ascended the stairs that it was Ed Sheeran blaring in the speakers and not "The Addams Family" music we had been practicing for months. It actually, though, lightened the intensity of THE opening night. We were singing and humming along and bobbing from one place to another as we enjoyed the beats.

As I was putting on the finishing touches to my make-up so that I could get ready for my mic, I just had to say, out loud, "I love you guys! You're all so awesome!"

I wasn't watching anyone's faces as I was concentrating on my own, but there was a general hum of agreement and right-back-atchyas.


My first ever!

Junior high doesn't count.

It just doesn't even compare.

This was opening night of a play that would be running until the fourth of October! This was serious stuff here, people!

One of the exciting parts, for me, were the hollers every so often like, "Mic check, 20 minutes!" "Doors open 10 minutes!" "Family meeting in two!"

Family meeting.

That has a lot of meaning for us in the play.

When you've practiced this hard and this long together you do start to get really close as friends and it does feel like a family unit. Ironically, though, one of the lines in the play is, "OK! Family meeting!" So it has just kind of become our call out for coming together.

At 7:15 we started our family meeting.

It wasn't what I expected.

I just thought it would be a "Do your best! Show 'em how great you are! Don't forget your lyrics!" and a "Rah rah, lets go!" kind of cheer.

Instead it was an inspirational, emotion baring, tear inducing speech by our director, Shawn.

I have realized all along what an amazing cast I had the privilege to be a part of, how fun and how friendly, how talented and entertaining, but, this speech was one of the things that brought it home for me. I am so proud to be a part of this cast. I am privileged to have been cast with these amazing people.

Then, it was, "Five minutes to curtain! Places everyone!"

It was so exciting to hear this.

I've heard it in the movies before, but never in my own life... and having it really refer to my part in a play instead of me jokingly trying to make gathering for dinner a fun thing to do.

Curtains closed.

All of us nervously and anxiously breathing.

Then our music cues and we start to sing.

The curtains draw up and now I see some light creeping in on where I am hiding from the audience until it is my time to appear.

"What's my first step? My first line? Should I step over or through?" are rapidly running through my mind as I wince at the pain I am feeling in my back yet reeling with excitement for my first real audience.

My brother, Aaron and his wife, Chelsea and daughter, Ya-ya were there for the opening night.

I couldn't see them.

But, I knew about where they were sitting.

That's one thing about being in a play as opposed to performing with my family. When we perform we see people's faces and their reactions and really sing to them. But on this big stage with lights shining at you in all directions you can't see faces, but maybe a few shapes and blurred colors.

The entire way through I was running on excitement, adrenaline and some strong pain meds.

It was one of the funnest and most memorable nights for me in my life.

I feel so much joy being on stage.

That was the first opening night of my life.

I'll never have another first opening night again.

Pretty awesome when you think of it that way.

After our bows and greeting the audience we gathered in scattered clumps in the dressing room area and were just chattering about how great it was, mistakes that were made, complimenting everyone on everything, laughing and talking as we worked to get all the make-up off our faces. Then going back to the girls dressing room and talking more about our performance and helping each other in and and out of costume and street clothes.

I drove home with a smile on my face.

I walked into the house with a smile on my face.

I greeted Lindsey, who had been watching the kids, with a smile on my face and burst into telling her how wonderful it all was.

I am sure there will be all kinds of reviews of the big debut of "The Addams Family" musical in Utah Valley. Some may be great and some may be not so great.

All I know is that my review from backstage is that this play, with this cast, is a must see! You will see and feel the energy and synergy in our group and it will translate into a wonderful viewing experience. I am sure of it.

Oh, and of course I had to do some chalk art for it! (Notice I added me? --smile--)

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