Monday, September 25, 2006

A Month Later

The following post leaps from thought to thought with no attempt at structure whatsoever. Sorry.


H2$ was a success in my book! The final matinee was one of the most satisfying performances I've ever worked on. One dramatic moment: the power went out for just a minute, and all the equipment in this tech-heavy show went down. The stars were onstage singing "Rosemary," a tender love duet, and they just kept going, a cappella and in the dark, until everything came back up. After the final dramatic note they embraced in genuine relief and affection as the crowd went bananas. I spent the rest of the day barely holding back tears of delight.

Now I'm exausted, due in large part to the wear and tear of this show. Staying up partying on friday and saturday nights didn't help. Well, they helped with some things, but not my energy level. My parents are on a trip, and they insist on calling me with their cell phone instead of a real honest-to-goodness phone (cell phones are the mark of the beast). They called me at work today and after their phone stopped wonking out I couldn't find the energy to speak at all. I usually want to talk to my folks whenever they call, since I'm increasingly mindful that one day we'll all, in the words of Firesign Theatre, fall apart like rotten fruit (thanks for the shoddy workmanship, God!) but I'm so enervated that it's all I can do to type this.

Anyway, I'm delighted that I got to work with the phenomenal Carl Dean, and terribly excited about doing Christmas Carol with my friend and neighbour Frank next, but I'm about ready to do some meat-and-potatoes straight theatre again. There's only so much singing and dancing I can do, much as I love it.

Backstage was the usual blend of friendships, slights and simmering loathings all round, but I feel like it was a net gain. I learned a lot about professionalism from the lead performers; Wes, the guy who played Bud, was a particular inspiration to me. Even though we changed costumes next to each other I became utterly starstruck by him, and turned into a gushing lobotomized praise machine whenever we spoke. He showed me how to be continually inventive yet flawlessly consistent. He also showed my how to be gracious when some twit is constantly boring you with praise. I should know by now that no one really wants to be praised for more than a minute; at least no one whom I'd actually want to praise.

I couldn't attend the Sidewalk Film Festival this year, but durn tootin' I weaseled my way into the after party at Sloss Furnace. I bumped into a talented filmmaker I know and she lied me in; the next day she won an award for her film, so bravo Jennifer!

I feel a bit like the guy in Fight Club who attends support groups for diseases he doesn't have; I attended the prayer circles a few cast members had before each production of H2$. I agree with David Mamet that (paraphrasing his book Three Uses of the Knife from memory) prayer is when we let down our defenses and acknowledge our fragility, our needs, our reliance on one another and the kindness of strangers, including a very strange God.

A few things I learned this weekend:

If you're at a party and you're gonna say something mean about somebody else at the party, do it in a whisper, not a holler.

Dancing to loud techno still feels really good, many years and pounds later.

Red Bull is magic.

All cute married people should be required by law to bling their wedding rings at single strangers before making friendly, flirty conversation.