Someone once compared me to an armadillo, they said I had a hard shell on the outside but really I was squishy on the inside. Anyone who knows me knows that I can carry a pretty serious face, especially when I am focused on a specific task or mission (or from Michael's perspective when I am trying to take over the world). However, those that know me best, also know that I do have a sensitive, sentimental side to me too (ie. the squishy). That being said, it makes perfect sense on why I step out of the lightning fast pace of the festival every once in a while to reflect on what is happening around me.
This past Sunday we wrapped up Alice in Wonderland. It was an amazing run, with a fantastic director, design team, cast, stage manger, and crew!! I really hope you got a chance to share in the magic and catch one of the performances. Sunday started out like any other performance....we did the post show greeting of patrons, we took our familiar spots backstage waiting for our cues to enter, we participated in the traditions of the "make-up room", we made sure not to do anything too crazy so as not to throw off Jess and the crew! After the show was over we did our normal curtain call dance party and greeted the little ones and young ones at heart in the lobby for pictures and autographs. The "tea party gang" was then swept away to a special "Tea with Alice" event, where much hilarity and ingesting of massive amounts of sugar cubes ensued. All too soon we were headed back to the theatre to change and move on to the next event on the agenda. I scampered down the stairs called a quick see ya to the guys over my shoulder and ran to the dressing room, knowing I had little time to change, and get ready for Hamlet tech. I burst in the door, looked up and stopped short....... it was bare.....empty....everyone had cleared out and by that point all the "Alice" costumes were gone, the tables swept and not much remained. I slowly sat down, took it all in and reflected for a moment on the process of it all. I could hardly believe we were at this point, it feels like just yesterday we were sitting in our first read thru.......
As I sat there and looked around the room there was a bitter sweet feeling in the air. I finally got up and started to get ready. I began to think about this thing called theatre...... how a group of people with all sorts of unique talent and ideas come together for a short time to play and create something amazing, something that we all put our hearts into and something that we have the privilege of sharing with others. The cliche "all good things must come to an end" rang in my ears, however we get to hold onto the memories we create, all the backstage antics, the inside jokes, the moments of discovery and so on....
As I was packing up I looked over and saw the costumes hanging for the ladies that were coming in for Hamlet, and I started to get excited again thinking about how it is their turn to take the journey on stage. I laughed to myself thinking about how many countless costumes have hung on those racks in these dressing rooms, how many closing and opening nights have come and gone, and how each one is special in it's own way. We end one and begin another......a cycle of sorts.
This past week was an interesting one as we worked out all the details for the next show, cues, props, lighting, etc....and even though we had to battle some of the elements, everyone came through and is ready to head into the run.
So to the Hamlet cast, band, and crew, I salute you as you have worked tirelessly to put this production together, and tonight for the first time you get to share this with a live audience. I wish you all the best as you complete your final preparations. Cast, I hope that your energy is high and that you use the little butterflies that hang out in your stomach to propel you right before each of you make your entrance for the first time, or the second, or the third.....
Know that you have a ton of support behind you, and we are all cheering you on. So have a good time, enjoy this opening night and as the sun sets on Elsinore, breath in the cool breeze (hopefully), take in the magic of the outdoor production and just be in the moment. Kudos and break a leg!!
Till next time~