Friday, June 01, 2007

The First Dream

We'll pretend that I'm a religious journal keeper and the last weeks of tour were faithfully recorded for your entertainment and my personal log of life.

Now, onward to my next season (perhaps with bits from tour sprinkled in).

You all know what I'm talking about - and if you don't, I want your secret to night time oblivion. There comes a time in the Process when, while you remain outwardly calm and unruffled, your mind worries away at the upcoming onslaught of creative egg-beating and potential brilliance or disaster. You toil away during your daylight hours to get the show up and then, at night, your most secret and greatest fears come to life.
The dreams.
Last night I had my first and I haven't even begun work yet. In the dream, we were opening 'Godspell'. For some reason, I was part a preshow appearance of actors onstage. I was holding a large cross and was part of the center piece arrangement onstage. I kept looking at my wrist, even though I wasn't wearing a watch, knowing that I should be calling times and places soon. I finally managed to slip offstage and make it to the booth just in time to start the play. I knew Betsi was waiting as I fumbled through the balcony to get to my spot. I put on my headset and apologized to everyone for being late. I informed them that I was pretty sure this was a dream, since I didn't remember any of the rehearsal process, nor did I have any cues written in my prompt book! They assured me they would take care of it (they had obviously been through some rehearsals I missed...) and the show began! It was very odd. I didn't care for the music or the lighting and I woke up relieved because I knew our 'Godspell' would be much better and hopefully I would be more prepared.
I can't wait to see what happens when we've actually started rehearsals.

The other thing I've realized over my break here is that for the last four years I've basically spent my May-June months indoors. From nine in the morning until the dark hours of the evening I've been inside and missed spring springing and summer blossoming until my days are free to explore.

These last weeks I've been overhwhelmed by green and the scent of earth and flowers coming to life again. Fancy, isn't it? I could get used to this, but I will pay for it later once we've settled into a stock season. That's right. Once we start rehearsals we're in it almost until the end of summer. My solace is of course, Equity hours and daylights savings time. I'll still have my summer, but I'll miss the power of the repertory, days free season.

I call this my "Nyah nyah!" view....

And I'll miss Bigfork. My heart broke when we went to the opening night of their comedy, this year, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged" - wonderful! But...I saw all the people I wouldn't get to work with and smelled the theatre and the booth I wouldn't be rehearsing and calling in, even the rehearsal hall. I never thought I would miss the rehearsal hall; bland walls and a mylar floor to protect the actors' feet, the air heavy and sticky and smelling hopelessly of sweat. I remember leaving fans running all night and coming early in the morning to open the doors, run the fans and spray cinnamon air freshener in the hopes of clearing the air a little so everyone could feel we had a fresh slate to work in - not a space dampened and warm from yesterday's efforts.

I'll miss it.

And I'll miss shrimp-filled, meatball laden and sparkling champagne opening nights, actors gleaming from their efforts to burst out of the cannon like fireworks - the triumphant glow dimmed only by the knowledge that we have to get enough sleep to begin rehearsals for the next show all too early Tomorrow.

I'll miss that, too.

Local families who have been loyally attending the Bigfork Summer Playhouse seasons host parties for the company and for their friends who lovingly corner an actor or a designer to ask them about the Process. We've all come up with answers that are witty, charming and warm enough to involve them and help them understand, a little. But you can't really understand if you haven't been there. You just can't.


People say you have to 'move on'. Or 'move up'. I don't know about that. To me, it's all creating. Maybe I've 'paid my dues' or I want to work an easier schedule or just be able to keep an entirely different job that happens to require that I'm Union. But the ache of missing what has been my summer home and family? I wouldn't call that moving on. I certainly wouldn't call it moving up. I would call it moving. I would call it shifting sideways to get a new look, see new people, be nestled in by a different lake, a different mountain and getting ready to learn the smell of a new rehearsal space. A new booth. New actors. A new stage.

I'll miss Bigfork. But as I've learned from touring, wherever the theatre is, is home.

Break a leg...

4 comments:

Lauren said...

Sometimes Jess, you are so poetic it breaks my heart.

Nora said...

Jess, it is so true, but you are right.... what ever theatre you are at, becomes home and I know you will have wonderful home and new family to become a part of this summer! Love and break a leg!

LIBBY said...

Jess:

Mama T here. Keep the comments coming. Just think of all the people we have met in theatre. Reason, Season or Lifetime - right girls?

See you up at the lake.

Monica said...

Oh, Jess! Lauren is right. You are so poetic it breaks my heart!

I miss you and this summer has had a very high learning curve. Read my blog and you'll see the vague amiss.