Monday, September 21, 2009

wrapping up The Odd Couple

Yesterday was the last show for The Odd Couple. First, let's talk photos. You can see them here.

Since my first community theatre audition, I've been in this kind strange competition with myself, to see if I can do more and more and more. I've done shows back to back, I've done musicals, and I've done everything there is to do backstage except making costumes (which I'm really bad at and they really don't want me to be a part of it!) But this was the first time I've ever done two shows at once. Devon said I would learn a lot about myself during this process, and (no surprise here) she was right.

I've become very familiar with my Theatre 98 home and family. Auditions are no longer scary and walking into that theatre is as comfortable as walking into my living room at home. I'm greeted by old friends and am excited to meet new ones. I'm generally aware of the inner workings of the theatre because of my board participation. It is my theatre.

Walking into the Chickasaw Civic Theatre was a totally different experience. Although I walked in with my roommate and I knew that the director of this show was a friend from college, it still felt very foreign. I didn't know anyone else in the room. The stage was massive, much larger and more imposing than my intimate little stage at T98. Needless to say, vocal projection is much more of an issue in a larger space with a larger stage. Something I had to learn during this process!

After auditions, I assumed I didn't get a part. I didn't feel great about my reading and I thought some of the other ladies did a much better job. I always feel this way, even at T98, but this was a much more intense feeling - mainly because I had just seen one of the ladies in a previous production and knew she performed at this theatre a lot.

The call came in very quickly, possibly the next day, although I don't really remember. My roommate and I both got parts - we would be playing the Pigeon sisters. We were both really excited.

Throughout the rehearsal period, I am happy to say I got to spend time with Leo, the director (who I haven't seen since college) and Shannon, the roommate, and the rest of the cast. The poker playing guys were a riot and the two men playing Oscar and Felix were simply amazing. Both on and off stage. Seriously, these guys are funny all the time.

Bonding with Shannon and Leo were my favorite parts, and of course the cast party during which we all played Rock Band! That's a fun activity for a bunch of theatre people!

So what did I learn about me? I learned that I need some free time! Doing two shows at once was very difficult for me because of the lack of free time. When I got home from one rehearsal or the other, I would just want to crash. Laundry suffered. Eating suffered. I never want to see another frozen pizza as long as I live!

But what else did I learn? That I can be very organized if I need to be. I was certain I would forget or screw up and go to the wrong theatre on the wrong days - or say the wrong lines at the wrong rehearsal. That never happened, thank God!

I also learned that people are very understanding and amazing when they know you are sincerely giving your best to something. And that when I push myself, I can accomplish great things. And that when others are relying on you to bring your best performance, you have to do that, even when you don't feel like it.

And yesterday, I learned that when you do a final performance and then drive straight to a rehearsal for another show, it eases the pangs of sadness you feel about the show being over. Oh, I'm still feeling sad about not seeing my Odd Couple friends every day. In fact, I will miss them very much. But every show brings another circle of friends, and I have a feeling that I will remain in touch with some of them for a good long while. Particularly the awesome Leo, who was one of the most humble, gentle, and professional directors I've ever worked with. She didn't get in the way of the show, and that's a rare quality in a director, I think. It's a quality I would like to have one day.

So goodbye, Odd Couple! It was a lot of fun playing on stage and off stage with all of you. I hope to see you again someday soon!

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