08 June 2009

the Actress Diaries, ch. 4

{part 4 in a series of strange tales from Acting Land}

Today, I am tired. I feel like I've acheived a new, higher plane on the tired spectrum. I normally hit the snooze alarm as many times as possible (Mr. UB mocks me for this, but I persist) and greet the morning with more of a groan than a smile ... but this is different. This is a bone-weary, squinting at the light, questioning why I say "yes" to so many things kind of exhaustion.

It all started last Thursday. I was at rehearsal for the Jack Nicholson show, and I'd just learned that I was adding another Random Bimbo to the line-up of characters I'm playing -- a Cuban hoochie who ends up having Fidel Castro snort cocaine off her ass. (There are some funny stories in Nicholson's life.) Castro is being played by Amy, the only other girl in the cast, so I guess things could be worse ... and the guy playing Jack is snorting coke off the stomach of our director, Patrick, who's playing a tranny hooker, but that has nothing to do with why I'm so tired.

Right after that, we started working on a scene from "The Shining," where I learned that I get to hit Patrick with a bat, so the evening wasn't a total loss. Just as that part was wrapping up, my phone buzzed. Who the eff is texting me at 2am? Mr. UB saying something naughty? Nope. It's the director from a show I did last fall.

Help! We open Sunday, and someone just quit on me! PLEASE tell me you're available?!?

Oh, crap. I don't want to. And I just realised it's 2:00 in the morning. No wonder I'm so loopy.

Me: I'm still at a rehearsal. I think so, but I can't confirm until the a.m.

Director #2: I love you.

Me: I'm going to sleep in, but I'll let you know as soon as I can.

I did sleep in ... since I teach all weekend, I've made Fridays my de facto weekends for as long as I have these late-night rehearsals to get through. When I woke up, I checked my calendar ... dammit, I am available on Sunday night. And this guy has cast me in several things. And I can't just leave him & 20 other people hanging in the wind. So I tell him I'll do it.

So yesterday, after teaching for 4 hours, I high-tailed it over to the theater, where I met the cast & walked through my scenes once, at around 6:30. There was another show at 8:00, so we couldn't keep rehearsing. And then at 9:30, I went on.

I'm not sure who was more terrified -- me, trying to remember a show I hadn't done in 8 months, and figure out how the idiosyncracies of the new cast affected my part, or them, already amped up for opening night, sizing up a total stranger they'd never even rehearsed with. The one reassuring thing about the whole mess was that the actor playing opposite my role was the same person I did the show with last fall, and he's wonderful -- so I had a basic idea of what he was going to do, and I knew he'd have my back. Which was good ... because the director walked backstage just before curtain and announced, "You've got a full house!" Grreeeaaaat.

Amazingly, it was a great show. All the hard work the cast had clearly put in came together with that magic stuff out there in the ether, and it was almost glitch-free. (For completely glitch-free, stay out of live theater.) Which led to much celebrating afterwards ... on an adjacent stage, since the main theater is rented out to an AA meeting, and they understandably don't like a bunch of drunken actors stumbling around. I didn't even over-indulge -- just 2 or 3 drinks -- but I did dance my butt off.

Which is probably why when I woke up this morning, I could feel the rotation of the earth. And while I'm fairly proud of myself for pulling it off, and it's enormously flattering that they're asking me to do the rest of the run ... I just don't know if I have it in me. Besides, I was already dragging myself to another Jack rehearsal, which at least allowed me to dodge that phone call today.

But hey -- at least I'm not bored.

{I promise to resume wedding-centric posts soon. I have things to report &/or rant about, really I do.}


Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

ranting is soothing...
hope all is well!

Marie said...

Congratulations it went so well, sounds like fun, although yes, tiring. But good luck! And ranting is always good :)

mimi said...

oh i love that story. i am a freelance stylist and i constantly struggle with taking last minute jobs. they are usually more disastrous, thanks for a good ending.

Ten Thousand Only said...

i would've just melted into a puddle and cried for days. stage fright.

then again. i'm not a rockstar actress.