Tuesday, January 15, 2013
James wrote this play last summer, when he should have been writing something else. Jeff came over one Sunday evening and we read it for the first time. It was immediate, that feeling, the one where you know there's something special happening. After we talked for a bit, James asked if we wanted to read it again. I didn't, because I was afraid of ruining the magic. Jeff said he felt the same way.
Now I know that the magic just gets stronger.
We took it to New York thinking the work was done, and we just needed to get it up on its feet. Our director had other ideas, and, like more magic, the piece opened up.
James and I arrived on Friday night, had a meeting, four rehearsals, and then opened it on Wednesday.
Here's how I rate the performances* (out of a possible 10):
Wednesday: 8. It felt a little fast. Good, but fast.
Thursday: 9. We controlled the pace. And the volume. Solid. Very solid.
Friday: 7. I could feel Friday coming. All day. I could feel it in the air. I took me half the (very short) play to figure out what I was doing, and I feel like I spent the whole of it listening to the running commentary in my head. Which felt great. I only give it a 7 because of a strong finish.
Saturday: 10. It's hard to explain what made it so perfect. Magic, maybe. I could feel this one coming, too. On my way to the theatre, I could feel it in my belly. I couldn't have asked for a better ending.
As I suspected, being on a 10 day trip with Edie was a royal pain. We have amazing, generous friends, but it's always difficult being out of your own space. Nothing else quite fits. Add to that the scheduling of rehearsal and preparing for shows, and suddenly my texts to James about when he's getting home start to get a little terse. But, you know, thems the breaks. Either we do it that way, or we don't do it at all. And, we choose to do it.
Thanks to those amazing friends who paid the absurdly high ticket price, to those who let us cozy up with them in their apartments, to Ryan for directing like a freaking pro, to Jeff for letting me smooch you up and for being such a generous actor, and to James for writing me a beautiful play.
It was a good week. Solid. Very solid.
*le sigh; i started doing this ages ago. i realize it makes me look kind of crazy, or kind of like an ego maniac, but it's actually really helpful to keep me grounded when things don't go as well as I'd hope. Friday was deeply frustrating (not in the least because I had a load of friends in the audience, which always makes me feel strangely responsible), but my system forces me to look at it and say, well, it was a 7. Like a weak 7, but still, I can't, in fairness, say it was any worse than that. It forces me to focus on what worked.
Also, I don't think I've ever given myself a 10. Good for you, Valerie